It is not only in Japan but pets are spread across different areas of the world. Companies use pets, football teams have pets and even games have pets. Japan uses pets in almost any situation. It is common to use mascots that represent places, cities, regions, TV stations, events, organizations, airports, anime, tourist spots, government and even on street signs.
Have you ever wondered why there are so many pets? First, we have to analyze why large companies and organizations tend to use pets. The mascot's main focus is to market a finished thing, place or product. But the mascot's real intention is something bigger, to give the company an identity and personality. People are more comfortable talking, associating and buying from other people, companies with fancy names need something to represent and show personality to them, that's why they use mascots.
We already know that Japan is influenced by kawaii culture, but if we stop to think, the large number of mascots is due to the Japanese shyness, their difficulty in socializing and several other cultural factors. to understand this better we need to analyze Japanese mascots. The most common term to refer to Japanese mascots is yuru-kyara (or yuru-chara). Several things are created about these mascots, music, games, presentations, TV shows, etc.
The most popular and cute Japanese mascots
At the beginning of the article we have the images of some mascots. First fukka-chan which is a cross between a hill and rabbit that represents the city of Fukaya. The second is the Kaparu a version of the kappa yokai from the city of Shiki. And the third is the Ebinya a cheerful mascot from the city of Ebina, with his shrimp hat (ebi) and strawberry body.
The most famous mascot is the Kumamon that represents the city of Kumamoto, when they opened the bullet train. Another cute mascot is the Chihana-chan that represents the city of Chiba and its beautiful flowers.
Then we have the cute Yachinyan, a kitten created to attract tourists to the shopping street and Yonbancho Square, located in Hikone, Shiga. Followed by the green bear named Arukuma. It was created with several hats to represent different spices from Nagano, each hat represents one thing, like apples, chestnuts, persimmons, mushrooms, lettuce, soba, and wine.
Tagatan is a mole that represents the mining and construction industries in the city of Tagawa. Sanomaru is a cute samurai created to promote the city of Sano, which is close to Tokyo. He has a bowl-shaped hat and some accessories that represent the city's specialties like sano-ramen noodles.
For me the Yachinyan is the cutest pet ...
Musubimaru was designed to represent Miyagi's rice farms. He has a samurai armor based on that of Date Masamune and a head of onigiri rice cake. Gunma-chan, as the name suggests he has been Gunma's mascot since 1983, but his current designer was made in 2008. He has a horse face representing that Gunma was the first region to have horse breeding. Finally we have Domo-kun the famous official mascot of the NHK TV station.
These are some popular pets. There are thousands of other pets in Japan, some even more popular than those mentioned in this article. If you remember any, you can comment on them in the comments, we would be happy with your help.