Maybe you’ve seen a happy-go-lucky bear, maybe you haven’t. If you’re in Japan, you’re likely to see him on everything. Yes, I mean, everything. Tissue boxes, frozen fried rice packages, candy, cookies, soba bags…I think even on Ninja‘s shaved tummy (from her spay).
Kumamon is a mascot bear from the Kumamoto Prefecture. Since his creation in 2010 from the Kumamoto Surprise campaign for tourist through the new Kyushu Shinkansen line, Kumamon has become a hit in Japan. In 2011, he won a national mascot contest, generating a large revenue prize for the Kumamoto region.
Kumamon isn’t just a prize winner; he’s a profit builder as well. Anything with Kumamon is expected to be bought up. Is it because of his sheer cuteness? Who knows? All I know is that Kumamon looks very much like my Bombay cat.