Month: August 2017

Charadise Japan Part 2

Hina-chan, Tarny-kun, Fukka-chan

Here are some more photos from Charadise Japan, in indoor yuruchara-spotting event held in Shinagawa over the weekend. The mascots almost outnumbered the visitors, and it was a lot of fun to rub shoulders with them.

Trick photography with Hinosshi

Saniel, Komugichi, and Mitsubachi-kun

Hamurin and Shinjuku Awawa

Kuruma-kun and Inanosuke

Ladies man Kamisukoko-kun schmoozes Sana, Sena, and Bona.

Mascots come in all shapes and sizes.

Tokoron, from Saitama’s Tokorozawa City, meets Tsubosa Murai from Saga Prefecture.

TV Kanagawa mascot, Kanagawani, bites into Kawagoe mascot, Tokimo.

The mascots for a medicinal booze named Yomeishu have arrived. It’s party time!

Soy milk mascot, Chosei Tonyu-kun, looks wiped out after a long day.

Chara-dise Japan

Last weekend I went to “Charadise Japan”, a large indoor yuruchara event in the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa in Shinagawa, Tokyo. There was a stage, workshops, a restaurant, a trick photography area, and multiple booths selling character goods. Although the event wasn’t very well attended, seeing dozens of mascots interacting in such plush surroundings was a novelty, and I took lots of photos. Here are some of them:

Shibuya’s pink ice cream/dog poo/dog character, Sofuto-kuri Inu, is not out of place posing for a surreal “Alice in Wonderland”-themed trick photograph.

Plus Chan, Hanipon, and Anikinme-kun, hanging out.

Zoukirin meets PsycheDelhi San. Things are getting very trippy.

Asakusamurai browses the gashapon vending machines.

Soy milk mascot, Chosei Tonyu-Kun, enjoys an ice cream sundae. I wonder if it’s made of soy milk?

Oddball unofficial mascot, Kikuchi-kun, poses with members of the girl band, Banzai Japan, while Naganyan lurks behind, hoping for an introduction.

Chosei Tonyu-kun photobombs a picture of Fukka-chan and Saniel.

Big and little sumo mascots, Pier Nishiki and Konitaro.

The increasingly popular Potekuma, the potato/bear from picturesque Chichibu in Saitama.

Tsurugon rescues Muuma from the jaws of a giant Melon Kuma.

Niigata’s Sasadangon strikes a pose in palatial environs.

Creepy Derelict Mining Island Is Home to Japan’s Latest Quirky Mascot

Gunkanjima is the nickname for Hashima, a tiny island off the coast of Nagasaki, which was once the most densely-populated place on Earth. Crammed with towering apartment buildings, the 4-kilometre rock was mined for coal until the mine was decommissioned in 2001. Since becoming a ghost-town, Gunkanjima (Battleship Island) has become a popular destination for urban explorers and photographers of modern ruins, drawn by its eerie and unsettling atmosphere. That atmosphere is set to be livened-up by Gansho-Kun, the island’s new mascot.

A brown and misshapen blob with concrete buildings for a hat, Gansho-kun is intended to resemble the brown rock of the island. In fact, he looks more like a lump of poo with incongruously seductive red lips. A regrettable Tinder date.

The Jabba the Hutt lookalike was unleashed on a bemused public at a special event held on the island last month, and has subsequently appeared in a series of short Youtube cartoons.

Since Gunkanjima appeared as a location in the James Bond film, Skyfall, in 2012, and was approved as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2015, it has become a tourist attraction. Gansho-kun is tasked with making the spooky place more appealing to children. Whether or not he can pull this off while looking like a sour-faced pair of testicles remains to be seen.

Gansho-kun has only been around for a few weeks but he is already a controversial figure. His very existence is ruffling feathers in Korea and China. In the 1930s, thousands of Korean conscripts and Chinese prisoners of war were forced to work in the mines of Hashima under brutal treatment and harsh, dangerous conditions. The presence of a jolly mascot prancing about in such a notorious place is considered by many to be distasteful. It seems that Gansho-kun’s reign as Gunkanjima’s mascot may prove to be short-lived.

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