Adorable Arukuma Bear Wins Japanese Mascot Contest

Hundreds of thousands of anime enthusiasts and comic lovers from different parts of the globe are fascinated by the kawaii culture of the Land of the Rising Sun which showcases cute and adorable stuff particularly animation characters. Both locals and international sojourners in Japan are enthralled by their fine quality and cuteness.


Every year, the local government of Japan conducts a mascot contest as an avenue to display various distinctive characters producted by different prefectures and local commercial establishments in Japan. These attractive mascots are specifically designed to promote tourism and public relations in the country.


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With the influx of tourists in the country, the annual contest has become a highlight for some Japanese prefectures and local governments. This year the well loved mascot contest which is called the Yurukyara Grand Prix 2019 was conducted in the city of Nagano last November 3, 2019.


The winner of the said prestigious contest was the “Arukuma” character featuring a plump and rounded green colored bear that wears a red hood in the shape of an apple fruit surrounding its face and head. “Arukuma” bested seven hundred eighty seven other mascots produced by various prefectures throughout the country. It gained more than one hundred six thousand votes.


Arukuma was designed about nine years ago by one of the local prefectures in Japan. Most Japanese local governments spend time and effort to produce their very own character or mascot to enhance public relations. These characters are regarded as yuru-kyara which means “laid-back characters” since they are made by local establishments and prefectures as opposed to mainstream animations with more advanced and sophisticated designs by professional animators of big companies.


After garnering the highest number of votes, Arukuma gained more and more fans across Japan. According to a woman from Tokyo, “I’m really happy. I will keep rooting for (Arukuma) from now on.” She is one of the numerous fans of the lovely bear.


Reference: Chubby Nagano Prefecture bear beats nearly 800 other characters to win annual mascot competition


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