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Everything You Need To Know About Japan's Mascot Craze

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According to the Finance Ministry of Japan, the mascot craze is a waste of taxpayer money and the “yuruchara” should be decimated.

In Japan, mascots aren’t just for baseball games. They represent nearly every municipality and commercial brand, and in recent years, their numbers have been growing.

In Japan, mascots aren't just for baseball games. They represent nearly every municipality and commercial brand, and in recent years, their numbers have been growing.

Eugene Hoshiko / AP

Many of these mascots, called “yuruchara,” are facing extermination since Japan’s Finance Ministry stated that most did not promote tourism and were a waste of taxpayer money.

Many of these mascots, called "yuruchara," are facing extermination since Japan's Finance Ministry stated that most did not promote tourism and were a waste of taxpayer money.

Eugene Hoshiko / AP

Many of the mascots represent very obscure places and things. You wouldn’t even guess half of them.

Many of the mascots represent very obscure places and things. You wouldn't even guess half of them.

Koji Sasahara / AP

What even is that thing holding Carly Rae Jepsen’s hand??? Some sort of royal egg? A superhero apple?

Can you guess what super-specific event Takamaru is the mascot for?

Can you guess what super-specific event Takamaru is the mascot for?

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Everything You Need To Know About Japan's Mascot Craze

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Do you even know what industry Kutan is the mascot of?

Do you even know what industry Kutan is the mascot of?

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Everything You Need To Know About Japan's Mascot Craze

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You’ll never believe what the humanoid Katakkuri-chan represents.

You'll never believe what the humanoid Katakkuri-chan represents.

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Everything You Need To Know About Japan's Mascot Craze

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Some localities are coming up with creative ways to save their beloved mascots. In Rumoi, Hokkaido, eight local mascots were combined to create the megazord-like Ororon Robo Mebius.

Some localities are coming up with creative ways to save their beloved mascots. In Rumoi, Hokkaido, eight local mascots were combined to create the megazord-like Ororon Robo Mebius.

gunjap.net

Cute and cool.

Everything You Need To Know About Japan's Mascot Craze

FOX

Most of these mascots may be unknown to you, but others are world-famous. You probably recognize the NHK World mascot, Domo.

Most of these mascots may be unknown to you, but others are world-famous. You probably recognize the NHK World mascot, Domo.

Paul Morigi / AP Images for NHK WORLD TV

That’s because in 2008, Domo was featured in ad campaigns for Target.

That's because in 2008, Domo was featured in ad campaigns for Target.

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Gunma-chan is the mascot of the Gunma Prefecture. It won the Yuru-kyara Grand Prix, Japan’s national mascot character contest, in 2014.

Gunma-chan is the mascot of the Gunma Prefecture. It won the Yuru-kyara Grand Prix, Japan's national mascot character contest, in 2014.

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If you couldn’t tell, Gunma-chan is a pony walking on its hind legs. In the video below, he provides a great example of what these mascots are supposed to do: encourage tourism.

[youtube=https://youtube.com/watch?v=4LaomnAAM98]

But no yuruchara is cooler than Funassyi, the mascot for the city of Funabashi, Chiba.

But no yuruchara is cooler than Funassyi, the mascot for the city of Funabashi, Chiba.

Eugene Hoshiko / AP

It’s not a coincidence the words “fun ass” are in its name.

Everything You Need To Know About Japan's Mascot Craze

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John Oliver’s a big fan.

Everything You Need To Know About Japan's Mascot Craze

HBO

Everything You Need To Know About Japan's Mascot Craze

HBO

Everything You Need To Know About Japan's Mascot Craze

HBO

In 2013, Funassyi was voted best mascot and made $1.6 million in revenue for the city of Funabashi.

Everything You Need To Know About Japan's Mascot Craze

youtube.com

The genderless pear is famous enough to hold press conferences in Japan.

Everything You Need To Know About Japan's Mascot Craze

youtube.com

And record a single called “Funa Funa Funassyi.”

[youtube=https://youtube.com/watch?v=EyRgTBwQ_d8]

Funassyi is such a big celebrity, it was even invited to New York Fashion Week this year.

http://ouendanl.tumblr.com/post/111729410428/ryulongd-funassyi-at-new-york-fashion-week

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So hey, Japanese Finance Ministry, don’t burst our bubble.

So hey, Japanese Finance Ministry, don't burst our bubble.

Eugene Hoshiko / AP

We love these quirky half-human/half-fruit/half-flower/half-animal hybrids.

We love these quirky half-human/half-fruit/half-flower/half-animal hybrids.

Eugene Hoshiko / AP

If Dagaya Kun the half-fish doesn’t convince us to go to Nagoya city, Aichi prefecture, I don’t know what will.

If Dagaya Kun the half-fish doesn't convince us to go to Nagoya city, Aichi prefecture, I don't know what will.

Eugene Hoshiko / AP

Seriously. I would follow Sanasenabona over a cliff if they asked me to.

Seriously. I would follow Sanasenabona over a cliff if they asked me to.

Eugene Hoshiko / AP

PLEASE SAVE THEM ALL. THEY ARE SO WEIRD AND ADORABLE!

PLEASE SAVE THEM ALL. THEY ARE SO WEIRD AND ADORABLE!

Eugene Hoshiko / AP

Source: buzzfeed.com