The word “mascot” entered the English language in 1880, with the operetta “La Mascotte", composed by the French composer Edmond Audran, and the meaning was “person, animal or object that brings good luck". Also, the original “mascotte", a word from a French dialect, meant something which brings good luck.
In time, a lot of organizations like schools, sports teams or even companies started to establish their own mascots, hoping for good luck or… better advertising…
In Japan, this trend was probably more successful than anywhere, and today the Japanese have a real passion for mascots. Everybody and everything has its own mascot: the police and the firemen, museums, sports clubs, smart cards, cities and prefectures, airports, castles, restaurants, stores, televisions, websites, buildings, organizations and companies… and you can add a lot to this list.
Because there are so many mascots, you have a good chance in Japan to meet a walking mascot… I wanted to meet the Noppon Brothers and always missed them, but I recently met in Osaka my favorite Japanese mascot, Sorara-chan, the mascot of the Umeda Sky Building… and of course, we hugged… Oh, she is so kawaii, with her heart shaped pink hands…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: