Akita is a mountainous prefecture in Japan which is popular for its beautiful hot springs and rich nature. However, its declining birthrate has caused a stir in the prefecture’s future in the agricultural industry. In an attempt to attract younger people to visit or reside there, a new mascot is being introduced. Her name is Sui Kizakura, a blue-haired girl who’s very adorable.
Sui Kizakura is a cute 16-year-old character who loves cats and ice cream and has eye-catching blue hair and carries a flower staff with her all the time. She comes from Akita’s smallest populated town called Higashiyuri-machi. Her name, Sui, originates from the kanji character for “water” while Kizakura derives from two kanji characters which mean “yellow cherry blossom”. She’s said to have received power from a water goddess in order to help farmers with their work and to help protect Akita’s natural environment. Her design has also been incorporated with pale yellow blossoms as these are cultivated in the prefecture. Yellow cherry blossom trees are popular especially in the northern region of Japan.
Hopefully, the idea of the new mascot, Sui Kizakura, may entice younger people to live and visit Akita’s Higashiyuri-machi to help revitalize the town. Currently, there is a fundraising event which aims to raise at least 1.2 million yen. If it’s successful, Sui Kizakura merchandise will go on sale with all proceeds being donated to helping revitalize the town.
On top of that, a music video is also being created that will feature different areas of Akita. So, if enough money is raised, there may be a chance for the mascot’s illustrator, Mina Tojo, to create a cosplay of Sui Kizakura which I’m sure will be very popular among Japanese people.
So, what do you think? Whether or not this will attract younger people to visit or live in Akita, it is still a great chance to promote the small local town and its breathtaking scenery.