Yurukyara® Show with Naomi Suzuki
Sing and dance together with Yurukyara mascots
Lately there has been a growing trend in Japan for “Yurukyara” (laid–back characters), cute mascots to aid in the PR of major towns and cities. This year’s Japan Matsuri, the biggest Japanese culture event in the UK, will host the most popular Yurukyara mascots, as voted by the citizens of Japan. They are SANOMARU, KUMAMON, GUNMA-CHAN, IEYASU KUN and TAGATAN. KUMAMON is the star Mascot. SANOMARU was No1, and GUNMA-CHAN and IEYASU KUN were top finalists of “Yurukyara Grand Prix” 2013 which is the most famous cute mascot competition in Japan. TAGATAN did not win the competition but TAGATAN works hard to spread the word about this gem of the UNESCO Memory of the World register. TAGATAN is looking forward to meeting Naomi Suzuki, MC for the show who is an ambassador of TAGATAN. We hope we can introduce this new and exciting part of Japanese culture to the UK together with venue in London. We believe that this event will not only be beneficial to the Japanese local governments, but also help to strengthen the ties between Japan and the UK.
(※The word ‘yurukyara’ was created by Jun Miura and are trademarks of his and Fusosha Publishing.)
SANOMARU (‘maru’ means circle) won “Yurukyara Grand Prix 2013” among 1580 mascots that entered the competition. SANOMARU is a Samurai (warrior) who wears a hat which is Sano Ramen bowl shape with potato fries swords on his waist, and lives in a town around a castle. His fringe is made of noodles. In order to promote the charming Sano-city, his Ramen bowl shaped hat says ‘SANO’ all around it instead of traditional lightening pattern. It’s cute round Samurai figure wishes to solve any troubles peacefully, make Sano-city a nice place to live, widen friendship, and unite Sano-city citizens in one circle.
No1 position in “Yurukyara Grand Prix” 2011.
KUMAMON was created in March 2011 to coincide with the opening of the Kyushu bullet train. His work is to discover surprises and happiness in Kumamoto and share them with people all over Japan. He doesn’t just work in Kumamoto but also in the Kansai and Kanto areas, showing off the food and beautiful natural sights of Kumamoto Prefecture. He was also selected to be the sales and happiness manager for Kumamoto Prefecture by the Prefectural Government. He wants to meet people from all over the world and tell them all about lovely Kumamoto!
IEYASU KUN – Daimyo of Success
No2 position in “Yurukyara Grand Prix” 2013.
IEYASU KUN is a motif of Tokugawa Ieyasu, who spent some of his most productive years in Hamamatsu, between the ages of 29 and 45 (1570–1586), before succeeding in unifying the whole of Japan. Since Ieyasu Kun was created to commemorate the 100th year of the establishment of Hamamatsu City, he has engaged in various promotional activities across the country. With his hair resembling a “Hamanako Eel” and his clothing incorporating “Mikan (Satsuma)” and “Piano Key” designs. Ieyasu Kun is covered in Hamamatsu’s charm. As well as among Hamamatsu citizens, Ieyasu Kun is becoming popular nationwide.
No3 Position in “Yurukyara Grand Prix” 2012 & 2013.
GUNMA-CHAN was created in 1994 as the mascot for the National Sports Competition for Intellectual Disabilities, Yuai pics Gunma. GUNMA-CHAN has been around for 20 years and is still very much loved today. GUNMA-CHAN is a pony and is popular with children and adults. GUNMA-CHAN came 3rd 2 years in a row in the Yurukyara Grand Prix. GUNMA-CHAN is forever 7 years old and is neither a boy nor a girl. Its speciality is changing costumes. Apart from GUNMA-CHAN’S usual costume, it likes to dress up in tuxedos, baseball and soccer uniforms.
The town of Tagawa, Fukuoka Prefecture, boasts the collective works of Sakuhei Yamamoto, the first UNESCO Memory of the World item to be recognised from Japan. It takes its place among renowned treasures such as the original sheet music of Beethoven’s Symphony #9, the original Diary of Anne Frank, and the original illustrations of the Grimm Fairy Tales. Yamamoto’s coal field paintings are the first Japanese items to be included in the register and serve as a valuable insight into the history of Japan. Tagawa may be a small town but its mascot, TAGATAN, is working hard to make Tagawa known all over the World although it wasn’t top finalist of the competition. TAGATAN’s aim is spreading knowledge of this gem of the UNESCO Memory of the World register to the world.