Tokoron, the lovable of mascot of Tokorozawa City in Saitama Prefecture, celebrated his seventh birthday last weekend. Tokorozawa is the home of aviation in Japan and was the site of the country’s first airport, and thus Tokoron is a human/plane hybrid.

Last month I was lucky enough to witness the spectacle of Tokoron exuberantly dancing in a parade. An incongruous but entertaining part of Tokorozawa’s otherwise traditional annual festival is the samba parade, so Tokoron was dressed in a flamboyant carnival costume. I salute whoever danced for hours in that cumbersome costume.