Tag Archives: Japan 2016 earthquake

 
 

The Billion-yen bear

Jade Boyle

Society and culture | East Asia

 

When the earthquake in April 2016 hit Kumamoto City, the internet lit up with a very peculiar question: “Is Kumamon okay?”

At 1.5 metres tall, the cuddly black bear from Kyushu with rosy cheeks is arguably Japan’s most famous mascot. After the bear’s 2011 win at the Yuru-Kyara Grand Prix that saw him voted in as number one mascot in Japan, his popularity sky rocketed. Kumamon is now more than just a tourism ploy for Kumamoto Prefecture. His popularity has changed his position as a spokesperson for local Kumamoto goods .

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