Earlier this month I managed to catch a rare appearance by Kan-chan, the notorious “enema penguin” mascot of Ichijiku Pharmaceuticals. Ichijiku manufacture fig-based laxatives and enemas, so Kan-chan was not only designed to resemble an enema, but also made in the shape and colour of a fig. The addition of eyes, a beak, and feet give Kan-chan the cute factor required of all mascots.

I had been hoping to encounter Kan-chan for months, and I had previously planned to track the strange creature down at a pharmaceuticals expo late last year, but that event was cancelled due to rain. I was delighted when I discovered that Kan-chan would be appearing once again at a special Ichijiku event held at the foot of the famous towering structure, the Tokyo Sky Tree, so I hurried along before work.

Intestinal vending machine

In addition to meeting the bizarre mascot, visitors were also able to get free gifts in plastic capsules dispensed from a vending machine designed to look like an intestine. I won an exclusive Kan-chan key-ring, which I will treasure.

Kan-chan keyring