Mascot Overload: Japan’s Obsession with Mascots
With plenty of ski yuru-kyara floating around, Reruhi-san stands out as one of the most popular.
Falling under the weird-but-cute category, his character is based on Austrian Major General Theodore Elder von Lerch, a “winter leisure sports” ambassador who visited Japan. He looks a bit like a garden gnome, and is as sweet as he is creepy. Reruhi-san represents Nigata Skiing promoting the Omotesando Hills.
Reruhi-San, Japan's tallest mascot (270cm), is a likeness of Theodor Von Lerch, an Austro-Hungarian general who brought skiing to Japan. pic.twitter.com/dIGotis3Py
— Mondo Mascots (@mondomascots) April 28, 2017
5. Meron Kuma
Also known as Melon Bear, Meron Kuma looks more like a vicious beast from a fairytale legend than anything else. Still, the bear that dons a crazy green mask and always has his fangs out is quite popular. There is even a Facebook page dedicated to this yuru-kyara which depicts photos of the bear taking a bite out of the other Japanese mascots — and sometimes even travelers visiting the city he represents of Yubari.
Not cute, not cuddly, not sweet … at all! Nishiko-kun is far odder than anything else on the mascot spectrum.
How can you describe him? Well, he’s a dog, trapped in a sun, within a circle, that has legs and wears gray spandex tights. He caught the attention of many during the 2011 Mascot Grand Prix, where he won third place! Even more of a reason why being weird can be a good thing at times.
Nishiko-kun, the monochromatic mascot of Nishi-Kokubunji, is based on an ancient roof tile excavated there. He runs around in tights. pic.twitter.com/mcHPmQIST6
— Mondo Mascots (@mondomascots) September 20, 2017