Japan Today

Mascot Kumamon generates Y124.4 bil over two years


Japan's most famous prefectural mascot character, Kumamon, who represents Kumamoto, has broken records in the last two years by generating over 124.4 billion yen in revenue, according to the Bank of Japan.

Kumamon, originally created in 2010 by Kumamoto Prefecture's department of tourism, gained national recognition in the 2011 Japanese Mascot Grand Prix, when it was voted #1 in a popularity poll.

Since then, Kumamon has generated both a large amount of merchandise revenue, and an unprecedented influx in tourist activity throughout Kuamamoto Prefecture, officials say.

The Bank of Japan report marks the first time ever that a prefectural mascot has been recognized for both its economic success and its contributions to an area.

Kumamon’s promotional team receives around 400 applications a month put the character’s image on various Kumamoto products, TV Asahi reported. Kumamon currently appears on around 8,200 items, including foodstuffs, accessories and ornaments.

In November, Kumamon accompanied Kumamoto Prefecture Gov Ikuo Kabashima on a visit to Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox baseball team, and in October, Kumamon met the emperor and empress.

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124.4 billion yen in revenue.

Thus, the real reason for the proliferation of these oddities.

1 ( +2 / -1 )


The mascots are being used to generate income? Well, I never!

Free the mascots!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

and an unprecedented influx in tourist activity throughout Kuamamoto Prefecture,


Husband: Honey, where should we go on vacation this year?

Wife: Let's go to Kuamamoto, they've got a cute mascot!

Husband: Hey! That's a great idea!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"... it was voted no. 1".

He' s a "he".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think the people behind the Kumamon campaign needs to get a big raise. They're set the standard for mascots encouraging tourism in Japan--and you can get Kumanon-themed goods almost anywhere in Japan now.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

God damned plague is what these childish things are!

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

I ain't gonna lie. My newborn son has a Kumamon costume and I almost bought a cheap Kumamon sweatshirt to match him yesterday. Luckily the sweatshirt didn't fit me like most clothes in Japan plus I sort of came to my senses. He is here today and probably gone tomorrow and the sweatshirt will end up with my trying to get 100yen for it at a flea market.

3 ( +3 / -0 )


Sorry, your little script there is not comedy. It is reality! I hope you realize that.

I am sick of these infantile mascots (usually not very good design either, always a weird shapeless blob) being used for every product and organization/ event. It makes me not want to go. But I hate the mascots for cities/ locations the worst. It really kind of belittles and trivializes places/ history/ culture. That said, this Kumamon is a very mashi design. (=not so bad).

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Holy crap! That's more money than TEPCO generated this year (unless you count all the misappropriated government funds, bailouts, and donations meant for the people of Fukushima that never made it).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Kumamon's Revenge・くまモンの復讐 - http://www.cafepress.com/kumamonsrevenge

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Economies of all municipalities are in bad shape and they are desperate to catch a straw, mascot. It's better than them going bankrupt.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )


that's great. if i wasn't so afraid of shopping online i'd buy one.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As a citizen of Kumamoto city... I have had enough of it. It's everywhere... the Ku-ku-ku... Kumamon song is enough to make anyone crazy. Give (2nd place) Imabari's Bari-San a chance! Great little forgotten city which needs more tourism than Kumamoto does.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Kumamoto rocks!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Kumamoto is a wonderful place. It doesnt need a shapeless blob to tell people that. It can sell itself. What other wonderful city in the world gives you a free hot spring foot spa at the airport? And has a local department store restaurant that makes up jam butties for your kids? And is a stepping stone to some of the most beautiful islands Japan has to offer (Yakushima springs to mind). I say ditch the blobs and try a little grown-up publicity for a change.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As a Mascot it is truly UGLY. GW you need to say 5 our fathers and 5 hail Marys. Just because it is truly UGLY does not give license.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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