One of the symbols of Osaka is a mechanical doll in Dotonbori, Osaka. Not many people know it is a mascot character of a restaurant behind where stands but those who visit Osaka never forget to take photos with him. The doll has an official name: Kuidaore Taro. Kuidaore means “to ruin oneself by extravagance in food.” He has been there since 1950. But he is on sale now because the restaurant will be closed.
Since the owner announced the restaurant would be closing, a lot of individuals and companies from all over the country have offered to buy Kuidaore Taro. For example, Tsutenkaku Tower in Osaka, the Hanshin Tigers baseball team and some local municipalities say they want him. No one's saying, though, how much they would pay for Kuidaore Taro.
The current owner said, “I get a lot of offers everyday and we are very busy talking with prospective buyers." But he declined to disclose his asking price.
Economist Takuro Morinaga says: “When artist Takashi Murakami made a life-size figure, it was sold for 100 million yen at an auction. A famous and unique doll can be worth that much sometimes. In addition, if the owner of Kuidaore Taro requests royalties for some goods like key chains featuring the doll, it could be worth 30-40 million yen every year.”
So even though the current owner is closing its business, Kuidaore Taro cannot retire yet. (Translated by Tao Fujimoto)© Japan Today