Japan is undeniably a country featuring hundreds or even thousands of characters nad mascots. Whether be from Japanese anime or video games, some of these characters are a hit and even made it outside of Japan. Aside from those characters, there are also grand prix competitions to rank the most famous characters or mascots representing each prefecture in the country.
Even with the popularity of these characters, there are probably some characters that you’ve seen if you’re living in Japan but have no idea what they are or what they stand for. Here are 3 characters which represent different official institutions, see for yourself if you know them！
Prince Pickles is the official character and mascot of the Japanese Self Defense Force. Prince Pickles is characterized with big round eyes, a large head and wearing military, air force or marine uniform. It is quite hard to imagine Prince Pickles, a cute looking character, being the mascot of the self-defense force but this is to soften the image of the authority. Prince Pickles always appear on the pamphlets and stationery of the JSDF.
If you look closely at Kyuta Kun’s uniform, the number 119 can be seen. This is the emergency number for the Tokyo Metropolitan Fire Department which Kyuta Kun is the mascot of. He is a boy in a red suit wearing a blue helmet with yellow antenna.
Pipo Kun is a mix of different animals with an antenna. Pipo Kun is the mascot of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department and can be often seen in Police Stations and even in “kobans” all over Tokyo. Pipo Kun’s name is actually a combination of two words which are People and Police in the Japanese pronunciation. Pipo Kun is also quite popular outside of Tokyo.
Wherever you look around Japan, you will surely see characters or mascots everywhere. Even if you’re just on vacation or living here, you’ll spot them for sure.
Who’s that lovable Black Bear we can see everywhere in Kumamoto?