What is the Yurukyara Grand Prix?
First of all, if you don’t know what a yurukyara is, check this article out. Don’t feel like clicking?
Yurukyara are mascot characters that are used as PR for areas, organizations, or businesses and are presented at events, campaigns, advertisements, and other similar occasions.
The Grand Prix is a yearly competition for yurukyara where the public votes for the cutest or most charming yurukyara. 1699 yurukyara participated in the Grand Prix in 2014! Most yurukyara who participate are PR characters for specific areas, but a lot of them are also company mascots or exist just to spread cheer throughout Japan.yurugp.jp
Introducing 2014’s top 3!
3rd Place: Representing Tokoname, Ehime, it’s Mikyan!yurugp.jp
Looks: A dog with a heart-shaped nose and mikan leaves for ears
Birthday: November 11th
Personality: Bright, curious, and optimistic
2nd Place: Representing Fukuya, Saitama, it’s Fukka-chan!fukkachan.com
Name: Fukka, known as Fukka-chan
Looks: Part rabbit, part deer, with Fukuya leek on its head. Its overalls has tulip-shaped buttons, Fukuya’s representative flower.
Birthday: June 28th
Personality: Kind but competitive
Grand Prix 2014 Champion: Representing Gunma prefecture, it’s Gunma-chan!yurugp.jp
Looks: A pony
Birthday: February 22nd
Personality: Quiet and modest
Previous Grand Prix Winners
Grand Prix 2013: Sanomaru, of Sano, Tochigija.wikipedia.org
Grand Prix 2012: Bary-san, of Imabari, Ehimeblogs.wsj.com
Grand Prix 2011: Everyone’s beloved Kumamon, of Kumamoto prefecture!blog.livedoor.jp
There are simply thousands upon thousands of yurukyara in Japan, and more are being made every day. Take a look at those who participated in this year’s competition and find your favorite! Next year you can support them by voting and maybe they’ll become the next yurukyara king of Japan!