Japanese Communist Mascots

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

The 91-year-old Japanese Communist Party has decided to rebrand itself with its own yuru-kyara, or cute mascots:

Mr. Tamura’s team and the ad agency pored over every detail of the proposed characters—from names to personalities. In one meeting, members discussed Master Poken, the constitutional expert, making him younger than initially proposed, and a martial-arts expert. In another, Mr. Tamura’s team decided the group needed a character to represent families with children. When the ad agency came up with the mother-of-ten Ikuko, Mr. Tamura says he was initially nonplused by the number of offspring.

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“That was debated, but we ended up keeping it,” he says.

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His favorite character is the Proliferation Bureau chief, a moon-faced figure whose lower body, and hairstyle, are shaped like megaphones.

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Among the other characters are a purse that walks on its cheeks and discusses taxes, and a jolly sun that turns demonic when nuclear issues are discussed.

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With the cartoon crew ready for action, there was one more concern: how the party’s older members would take some of the offbeat details.

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“We were actually kind of worried initially that there might be a [negative] reaction from some older people,” says Mr. Tamura. “That didn’t happen at all. Rather, people were cheering us on do to more.”

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  1. Chris says:

    Well, I’m sold.

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