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Five “Yuru Kyara” MascotsNippon.com Staff

Japan is home to an astounding number of promotional mascots, or yuru kyara, cute (and sometimes not-so-cute) costumed characters created to promote everything from prefectures and cities to products and services. Since 2010, the top dog (or other creature) of the yuru kyara world has been determined each year at the annual Yuru Kyara Grand Prix, of which the inaugural champion was Shiga Prefectur…
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Fluffy Mascots on the Loose in SaitamaMichael Schauerte

Japan is home to an astounding number of promotional mascots, or yuru kyara. In late November a “summit” held in Hanyū, Saitama Prefecture, brought together over 200 mascots, tens of thousands of fans, and one puzzled American trying to make sense of it all.
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