150 Goofy Mascots Gathered at “Yuru-Chara” Festival: Hikone, Shiga
(This article was originally posted in Japanese at 20:36 Oct. 26, 2009)
Yuru-Chara, abbreviation of yurui-characters(lit. loose characters) refers to the wacky mascots designated to promote town, prefecture or company, in most case unsophisticated but cute in a goofy way.
Since Hikonyan, mascot of Hikone, Shiga is one of the oldest and most widely-known yuru-charas in Japan, the self-appointed "Sacred City of Yuru-Chara" hosted an event called "Yuru-Chara Matsuri Kigurumi Summit", inviting yuru-charas from all over Japan. 45 yuru-charas gathered at "Yuru-Chara Matsuri 2008" last year, and this year the attendance has tripled, with 150 yuru-charas crowding the streets of Hikone.
This post covers the yuru-charas from Shiga prefecture including Hikonyan of Hikone. There were amazing 41 mascots from Shiga alone.
Pics after the cut!
Yachinyan of Yonbancho Square shopping street.
Shimasakonyan (Hanashobu-dori Shopping Street)
Otani Nyanbu (Hanashobu-dori Shopping Street)
Ginnyan (Hikone Higashi Highschool)
Hikochu (Inae Shopping Street)
Vivace kun (Viva City Shopping Mall) is maybe supposed to be a beaver.
Tsubu san (Yume Kyobashi Castle Road)
Ginza Ebisu (Ginza Shopping Street)
Tabo-kun is a character modeled after singer Takanori Nishikawa who is designated Ambassador for Shiga Prefecture.
Pakupaku kun (Seikyo Co-op Shiga)
Molly (Moriyama, Shiga)
Kunio (Moriyama Ski Resort)
Ogoton (Ogoto onsen, Otsu, Shiga)
Biwacchi kun (Mascot of the planetarium at LAFORET Biwako, Moriyama, Shiga)
Keita kun（Shiga P.D.)
Magney of Otsu City is also a catfish from Lake Biwa, probably named after "Magnitude" since there's a myth of giant catfish in Biwako causing earthquake.
Usapon (Otsu City). Said to be often spotted at Seven-Eleven.
Here's Gamonyan from last year's event.
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