There are countless “local specialty” character goods throughout Japan. Some characters, called yuru-kyara, are especially popular. Yuru(i) means relaxing, and kyara is character, so yuru-kyara should make people relax. Well, how about this one?
Do you think he can make people relax!? Maybe yes, maybe no (^^;)
He is a brown bear called Melon-bear from Yubari, [W:Hokkaido]. It is said that he ate too many stolen melons from the farms (Yubari is a major source of melons) and turned into such a weird looking creature. In spite of his strange appearance, Melon-bear is very popular. In Autumn 2009 he sold out very quickly. Melon-bear was a big hit in the Spring (after hibernation!) of this year too. Melon-bear may not be a proper yuru-kyara, but still he is lovable.
Yubari city has been suffering a serious budget deficit for many years. Hopefully this weird looking Melon-bear will be their saviour!
Source: Hokkaido Bussan Center Yubari-Ten (in Japanese)
This is JAPAN Style!
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