lifestyle

Gifu town under fire for using busty No-Rin character to boost tourism

47 Comments
By Jamie Koide, RocketNews24

One city in Gifu is trying to put a little bounce into its local tourism by using Kocho, the top-heavy character from No-Rin, on its promotional media.

In November, Gifu Prefecture’s Minokamo Municipal Tourism Association began advertising a stamp rally (a stamp card campaign) open to visitors of participating bars and eateries in the area until January 31, 2016.

But what at first seemed like a fun event to support small businesses is now catching flack from residents and netizens alike for the association’s use of busty anime characters to promote it.

So why such a suggestive choice for their promotional poster? A large part of the reason, according to the association, is because the Kamo Agriculture School nearby was basis for the design of Tamo Agriculture School in the series, where No-Rin’s story takes place.

As for the other part, it seems they’re trying to attract a certain demographic that may not normally display much interest in events like these.

While many users don’t necessarily mind the city’s ties to the anime itself, whose characters have appeared in a number of association-sponsored advertisements, a large number of users particularly objected to the sexual nature of the Kocho poster above, deeming it as “sexual harassment” or “unsuitable for families and children”.

The tourism association claims that the image was previously used by Gifu Prefecture’s Red Cross Center, where female employees were asked about how comfortable they were with the image beforehand. (Although the men were not asked for their opinion, we’re going to go out on a limb and say most probably voiced no objections, either.)

In the Red Cross’s case, after using the image they experienced an increase in blood donations from young adults, and no doubt Minokamo Municipal Tourism Association is trying to replicate the results.

Would you consider this a wise move or just plain silly? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

_Source: Twitter/@minokamokanko via Kinisoku

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47 Comments
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a large number of users particularly objected to the sexual nature of the Kocho poster above, deeming it as “sexual harassment” or “unsuitable for families and children”.

Bloody hypocrites! Walk into your local Lawson and tell me you don't see "busty" characters staring back at you!

Get off your moral high horse. Maybe it's not a great idea overall but for the reasons they give it's ludicrous. Quite possibly someone might be just a "tiny" bit jealous?

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Funny thing is I bet if it was a young hunk with big muscles no-one would as much as bat an eyelid.

It's funny how some people are so scared of the female anatomy.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

it seems they’re trying to attract a certain demographic

The poster is certainly not "sexual harassment" as one person suggested, but it is infantile and conveys a cheap/tacky image of Gifu Prefecture, and certainly aimed at a very unsophisticated audience.

The "certain demographic" these marketing wizards are trying to attract could only be 16-something fanboys, which is ironically the same demographic Japan's self defense forces are targeting with their sexy/cute idol group and manga character recruitment drive.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

It's kinda desperate how tiny tenuous links to anything at all are used to promote otherwise nondescript towns.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@oikawa - "It's funny how some people are so scared of the female anatomy"

But that's the point. It is NOT the female anatomy. It's a CARTOON!! :-)

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Its Japan.

If you're gonna claim sekuhara then lets get rid of the pornographic manga which has sex and rape all over its pages. Lets stop having Japanese girls undress on NHK down to their bikinis. Let's stop with fetishizing women in general.

Until we do that, who the hell has a right to complain about a drawing with big boobs?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I think we need more characters with big boobs.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

@Aly Rustom - "who the hell has a right to complain about a drawing with big boobs?"

Every right-minded individual on the planet!! :-)

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Another town not gripped in reality

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Storm in a G cup.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

@Jimizo at least is not promoted by 2 girls and a cup :P

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Bloody hypocrites! Walk into your local Lawson and tell me you don't see "busty" characters staring back at you!

Good point Yubaru. Not only every Lawson but also every 7-11, Family Mart and every local "bookstore" featuring an "ero" section.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

To call this "sekuhara" is almost as absurd as that story we had in the summer about men who didn't wear undershirts getting accused of sekuhara because the women in their office could be aware of the men's nipples. But there's nothing wrong with saying this is a classless, sleazy image to represent a town with.

If the dudes like cartoon big boobs, there are websites they can look at in their free time for that. There's no need to hold a whole town hostage to a few people's kinks.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

These guys NEVER learn! This is the problem of not proof-reading or checking before publication (and then not asking the general public for opinion). I can guess who was in charge of this and thought it was a good idea.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Every right-minded individual on the planet!! :-)

you mean Every rightWING-minded individual on the planet!! :-)

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If only the women there were that well endowed i'd visit in a flash.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Looks great to me!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Aly Rustom - "you mean Every rightWING-minded individual on the planet!!"

Common decency is NOT a political persuasion...

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Use a flat-chested one already.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

let me guess, everyone bothered with it doesn't live in japan

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I think the problem is her expression. She looks super uncomfortable/about to cry. Makes me feel like I'm looking at this pic against her wishes even if she's a cartoon >_>

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

let me guess, everyone bothered with it doesn't live in japan

Y'mean the townsfolk, as per the article:

"But what at first seemed like a fun event to support small businesses is now catching flack from residents"

As someone else said:

The problem with these sexualized posters is that they were for EVERYONE not just otaku. They would have been pinned up at companies and schools, and people didn't feel comfortable with that. I would have said the same thing if they had used a picture of the main character's best friend in that dick speedo (which happens in the anime on multiple occasions), it would have been just as inappropriate. While I'm usually lenient with sex appeal in anime as long as it's tasteful, this is a poster that is supposed to appeal to anime fans living in and outside of the town. This portrays anime fans as mysognistic not-so-nice-people who don't care about the farming, but for meat bags on women. I actually kind of like No-Rin. Had they used fun, appropriate, fitting posters that show the characters having fun together with farming, I think it could have been a great collaboration. The fact that the committee thought this was ok baffles me.

What pushes it over the edge though, is that her expression begs the question "why does this sexually provocative woman look embarrassed/uncomfortable?" Considering Japan already has a history of accusations from women being groped on passenger trains, it takes a certain degree of incredulous thoughtlessness to think something like this would fly in public stations.

The look on her face suggests that she is uncomfortable in her current attire and would like to change to something more comfortable. It's a look of embarrassment, and I agree that it's something that shouldn't be used by a tourism organization. The expression was not that pleasant, and had a distinct look that seemed far less embarrassed and more like she was being forced into something she didn't want to do.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

a large number of users particularly objected to the sexual nature of the Kocho poster above, deeming it as “sexual harassment” or “unsuitable for families and children”.

A large number of users? Using what? All they say is "netizens". If they were posting on www.oppaiwadameyo.com that might explain the numbers. And how large are we talking about? Is this like the Tokyo police getting "headaches" after a whopping two arrests during Halloween festivities?

@Jimizo

Storm in a G cup.

Very rarely do I wish I could give more than a "Good". Very clever!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A lot of people complaining are actual hypocrite. They say it is too revealing, provocative.... but yet they watch all those bachelor, bachelorette craps. The women in those shows are comparable to those drawings if not less. Besides it just a drawing, view it as noise. If you like that, take a second look, if not just skip it. Same as TV, if you like the show, watch it; otherwise, turn off the TV. There are too many other things in the world to worry about than this.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So Minokamo are famous for their melons?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Bottom line to me. If Minokamo Municipal Tourism Association employees are paid using tax money, then yes, they should not be using such a sexist ad. No Government Association should be promoting such a sexist campaign. However, if they're not paid using tax money then I think they can do as they please until a point.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

DaDudeDEC. 04, 2015 - 11:46PM JST So Minokamo are famous for their melons?

Or, they are worried about being sued for false advertising? LOL

2 ( +2 / -0 )

RofL@ Cliffy & DaDude.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I have known real women built like that. Almost did not matter what they were wearing, if they leaned over a little bit, you saw some boob. I guess they should have hid themselves away lest they sexually harass some poor innocent hyper sensitive person out there.

Also, considering this is Japan, she could have a skirt barely covering her butt and no one would have noticed. But cleavage and big boobs is deemed vulgar. Not just Japanese, but people the world over, are weird and random, even if they are somewhat uniform as a society.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Personally, I think the reason manga leans towards the big boob character is because the national average tends to go the other way. You'll have more fascination with something rare than something commonplace.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Seems most people's issue with this is the combination of:

a) it's a tourism promotion, and

b) it depicts a female in an uncomfortable position that looks like she's being forced to do what she doesn't want to.

It'd be fine if it was not a tourism promotion for everyone - for ex: if it was a promo for a film or a parody poster around Akiba. Imagine a tourism promotion for America depicting folks bearing guns or tourism promotion for Syria depicting girls in uncomfortable positions - given the circumstances of reality, it should not be a surprise that local residents would not want their home places promoted in such a way, because at the end of the day, it reflects on their home place and it reflects on them what kind of people they are who live there.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The difference between the magazines in Lawson's and these posters is that the posters would be distributed to be put up in citynoffices, and the shop windows of the shoutengai. I can see their objections.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Advertising has certainly achieved it goal. It would of got stuff all this attention if they used a kiddy mascot snowboarding with a Stampbook. Weather deem cheap and tacky or sexually which people are free to comment their opinion. I deem it as Attention grabbing and I am now interested in this event which seem like a fun. I have been meaning to get up to Takayama to buy some furniture so I might drop in.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I wouldn't care if it were a flat-chested mascot there. I don't like the expression on her face, she doesn't look happy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Regardless of the 'busty' bit, I don't see how anyone would imagine that particular image would encourage anyone to take part in this stamp rally thing. She certainly does look unhappy, if not in actual distress, and her body language - crouched on the floor, arms crossed defensively, fingers splayed - looks more like an invitation to a white slavers' rally than any kind of fun event. Her facial expression says Flee while you can!

Whoever designed this poster got it wrong. The busty bit is the least of the problems.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

looks more like an invitation to a white slavers' rally than any kind of fun event. Her facial expression says Flee while you can!

Naturally its ridiculous to think that the attraction to a lady in distress would be a desire to help her. Of course anyone attracted just wants to rape her. Or so goes today's narrative in the war on men.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Cleo, thank you for one woman's perspective. Your deconstruction of the image is spot on. The image shows how women react to whoever came up with this image.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Americans love manga and anime and especially the guys love H stories..but how many will it attract and are they going to help the local economy

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Naturally its ridiculous to think that the attraction to a lady in distress would be a desire to help her

But the poster isn't intended to encourage people to help a lady in distress. It's supposed to encourage people to get on a free rental cycle and tour the shops collecting stamps.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I was curious so I googled it and got a link to some anime databas site with a synopsis. One of the striking things was that this anime has the tag "ecchi".

Now, I'm noexpert on advertising, but you generally don't want to use something blatently perverted as the face of something wholesome...right? Or have we been doing it wrong?

Bikini carwash eikawa?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

May be if they thought about it a bit more, like should we be promoting things like how good there hospitality is, fresh air, onsen, good food, high end restaurants, local delicacies, tourist attractions, cheap and expensive hostels and hotels, easy access by road and rail, mountain walks, easy and hard, special promotions to see the autumn colour, yet they choose a lady with big boobs, how shallow and demeaning, or were all of the commity made up a panel of blokes?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Busty is all good in my book.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So what! It is a cartoon character and foreigners should not put their nose in Japans business. All of these labels of porn are clearly untrue.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

foreigners should not put their nose in Japans business

?? The people complaining about the poster and trying to get it taken down are the residents of the town, the overwhelming majority of whom I imagine are not foreigners.

Are you saying people shouldn't be commenting on JT?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sexual harassment? Yeah, whatever. This is sexually harassing to whom exactly? While the choice of character for a stampcard campaign may have been somewhat odd, this in no way denigrates women. Let's not forget that the No-Rin character, Kocho, is referred to as ''boing'' for a reason in the anime. It's certainly not the first time in history that a female figure-set in some rural idyllia-has been characterized as a buxom lass. May as well accuse Jessica Rabbit of being sexually inappropriate. In a country where the average female bust size is an A/B, this sounds more like a case of sour grapes.Women tend to hate competition. Even if it happens to be an inanimate object, pun intended, because it makes them feel inadequate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The event is for bars, which, after having a few drinks, most men see women as little more than cartoons, so, this is an accurate depiction. ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Their new poster offering:

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20151207-00000043-asahi-soci.view-000

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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