Thursday, October 22, 2020

Pandemic Pause: Mondo Mascots

It's nice to take a "pandemic pause" now and then.

One way I take a break from thinking about COVID-19 (and everything associated with it)  is to check out the wacky and wonderful world of Japanese mascots via the "Mondo Mascots" sites. (There is a Mondo Mascots website, but I really think the Twitter and Instagram accounts give you more distilled mascot-y goodness.)

Ecogaru the shopping bag kangaroo encourages
citizens of Miyazaki, Japan, to reuse their bags.

So, through the Mondo Mascot sites, I've come to find out that there are mascots wearing amazingly intricate (and sometimes surrealistic) costumes in cities and neighborhoods all over Japan.

The official (and unofficial!) mascots represent such things as sports teams, regional vegetables and foods, trains, utility companies, and even archaeological sites.  

Hanna the green elephant mascot
of Hanasaku Life Insurance

Somehow these disparate ideas move from concept sketches to full-blown three-dimensional costumes worn by non-claustrophobic (and I imagine, somewhat sweaty) individuals dancing around fairs, train stations, and supermarkets.

Yahata Inu, the mascot of Kai City, Japan, looks
like a cat but is actually a mix of a potato and a dog

Honestly, every time I visit a Mondo Mascots site, I want to visit Japan even more!

Check out Mondo Mascots via their website, Twitter, or Instagram.

Kan-chan the curious and playful liver is a
mascot who fights liver disease in Saga, Japan.

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Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

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