The first Lawn Jockey shown on the left was found outside a hairdressers in Ginza. His extended arm has been used to hold a sign for the salon. A long way from home the Lawn Jockey hails from America and was once a popular lawn ornament. Originally the figure was modelled on an African-American with exaggerated features.
In parks all across Japan and indeed the world the elephant has provided park designers with one of the best ideas for transforming a boring park slide into a thing of awesomeness. I previously showed a small collection of park animals from Japan but I’d like to look more closely at this one type of character which is commonplace in parks around the world.
The 2010 World Cup is under way in South Africa so we thought we’d take a look at the official mascot. His name is Zakumi and he’s a leopard with green hair.
According to one survey, 96% of all school kids in the United States of America recognize Ronald. However a recent survey by Corporate Accountability International say that 47% of people they asked think it might be time for him to retire.
There are over 250 elephant mascots dotted around the city of London and each one is painted/designed by a different artist or celebrity such as Marc Quinn, Paul Smith, De Beauvoir Primary School in Hackney, Years 4 & 6 and many more.
Ugly, fiendish, dangerous, powerful and stupid the trolls personality is as varied as his appearance. In the old Norse language troll was used as a general supernatural word. ‘Trolldomr’ meant ‘witchcraft’ and ‘troll’ generally referred to a giant or demon.
2010 marks the 1300th anniversary of the city of Nara so I thought I’d have an in-depth look at the controversial Sento-kun. Sento can be translated as ‘moving the capital’ which is what happened 1300 years ago when Nara replaced Fujiwara as the nations capital.
Japan has a thing for big crabs, A Japanese spider crab was recently caught measuring 10 feet from claw to claw. Two fur suit mascot crabs promote Kasumi a small town in Hyogo famous for catching crabs. And there’s even a super cool crab clock in Tokyo. These crabs however are dwarfed in size by the moving mascot signs which are found above many seafood restaurants in Japan.
The red elephant sits proudly at the entrance to a shopping centre in South London with a castle perched on it’s back. The Elephant and Castle is not only a mascot but a road, a tube station, a roundabout, an area and a shopping centre!
The Japanese love robots, they pioneer in the creation of them, Testuwan Atomu was the first to create a cartoon character robot with Atomu (Astro Boy) old people have robot pets for companions and luckily for me they have loads of robot figures everywhere.
In the West, characters used to advertise products appeared as early as the 17th century with the “cigar store Indian” Native Americans were associated with the introduction of tobacco and so became a common symbol of tobacco stores.
The lick lipping pig outside restaurants cheerfully encouraging customers to take a bite can be seen all around the world. This is a collection of Death wish pigs found in Japan. We have pigs outside clothes shops in Yokohama’s China Town, Pigs above ramen restaurant door ways, outside a nikuman stall, made into a rubbish bin, disguised as a lantern and even outside a hairdressers.
Kyuta is a fireman from the future and the mascot for the Tokyo metropolitan fire department. Kyuta wears a blue helmet, which represents water, and a red suit, which represents his fearlessness; his yellow antenna lights up when he detects danger, and his chest is imprinted with the emergency telephone number.
Air filled mascots from around Japan collected together. Inflatable Mascots include Mr Earth, Otosan the Softbank dog, Docomodake the Docomo Mushroom, Disneys’ Stitch, Pickachu, Maneki Nekoand, Detective Conan, Karuojisan, a penguin, lion and a random pink ball!
Domokun has an exhibition on at Parco in Shibuya where you can see some of the wonderful sets, cute figures, buy some merchandise from the shop and see a furry mascot standing outside.