Thursday, March 24, 2016

Susaki's Beloved Character ☆ Shinjo-kun

It might be good luck to touch
Shinjo-kun’s bellybutton!
 (Saki-chan is on the left.)
Who is Shinjo-kun?
   Shinjo-kun is Susaki City’s mascot character based on the Japanese river otter, which is now considered to be extinct but was last seen in the Shinjo River, which runs through Susaki City. He wears a hat shaped like Susaki’s famous nabeyaki ramen, and sometimes he lets his fellow mascot friends who are other mascots wear his hat.

Shinjo-kun's Big Break?
   Shijo-kun gradually became more and more well-known after being introduced as an “interesting character” by fellow mascots like Barysan, Udonnoww, and Osaki-Ichibantaro, whom he co-starred with at events. He has also been introduced by the celebrity character Funassyi as a “character about to make it big,” but Shinjo-kun himself still doesn’t feel like he’s part of the big leagues.

Are You Hatappy (Happy)? ♪ Hatappy

Our staff was also surprised at just how cute Hatappy was!
Who is Hatappy?
   Hatappy is a daruma sunset* fairy who was born in 2013 to promote the Hata region (southwest Kochi). She’s a girl with a quiet personality, but she gets fired up when talking about the Hata region. Highlights of all six municipalities in the Hata region are represented on her small body. For example, her body itself is a daruma sunset from Sukumo City. The decorations on her hat represent the bountiful mountains of Mihara Villege, the Shimanto River from Shimanto City, a wave from Otsuki Town, whose ocean has the most variety of fish types in Japan, the lighthouse and tsubaki trees from the Ashizuri Cape in Tosashimizu City, and a whale from Kuroshio Town, which is famous for whale watching. Her necktie is in the shape of Shikoku, with the red portion representing the Hata region.
*Daruma Sunset = an optical illusion in which the winter setting sun around Sukumo City takes the shape of a daruma doll or snowman.

Kuroshio-kun, Poster Child for Kochi Prefecture

Check out Kochi’s internet broadcasting agency
Bringing Kochi’s Appeal Nationwide!
   Kuroshio-kun, Kochi’s “poster child,” was born in 1997 out of efforts to improve Kochi’s image and increase its appeal.
   Using the motif of the Kuroshio Current which flows through Tosa Bay, Kuroshio-kun expresses the silhouette of Kochi Prefecture boldly advancing into the 21st century. He’s frequently mistaken for a whale or a tadpole, but make no mistake, he is the Kuroshio Current!!
Kuroshio-kun Makes Waves at the National Sports Festival in Kochi
   At the 2002 National Sports Festival in Kochi, Kuroshio-kun contributed greatly as the mascot of the competition. Thanks to his cute shape, his stuffed toys sold out on the first morning of the competition, and his popularity was so extraordinary that the regional media named him “The most successful mascot in competition history.” Kuroshio-kun goods are only sold at competition-related events, so if you happen to own something featuring Kuroshio-kun, you actually own a very rare object!
   Also, in the Nenrinpics in Kochi 2013 (national sports festival for the aged), Kuroshio-kun debuted a new red vest and white hat outfit, and enlivened the competition as “the face of Kochi.”

Kochi Life Q&A: When an Acquaintance has Passed Away

   Today, we will give an example of the progression from when you hear that an acquaintance has died, through the end of a Buddhist funeral. (Be aware that there are differences depending on religion, denomination, and regional customs.)

GENKI Seinenkai Tosaben Musical 2016 - O-Henro ALL STARS -

A photo taken onstage with a selfie stick
at the 2015 Tosaben Musical
   Won’t you add a bit of “GENKI” to your life? Each year, GENKI Seinenkai presents the Tosaben Musical!
   This year’s title is O-Henro ALL STARS. One night in Tosa, known as the “austerity and discipline” section of the Shikoku Henro Pilgrimage, many pilgrims gather at an inn, about to give up on their journeys. But why do they want to give up…?
   In an adventure of tanuki, shibaten, magicians, nosy-parkers, and other “only in Tosa” protagonists and antagonists, the characters will learn about friendship and forgiveness all over again. We hope all of you will join the adventure too!
   Admission is free, but donations are requested. Proceeds from donations will provide financial support for a high school or university student planning a study abroad, so please give generously!