In the west there are mascots from restaurants or sports teams, but in Japan mascot culture goes way deeper: cities, towns, railways, ports, volunteer groups and more all have their own individual mascots – or yuru-chara, as they’re called. And the mascot for Seki City, world-famous for its sword and knife culture, is Hamomin.
“There’s a long history of quirky characters in Japanese folklore and traditional art, and they can be seen everywhere in modern video games, manga, and anime,” says Chris Carlier, a writer and illustrator living in Tokyo and the mind behind Mondo Mascots, which chronicles the world of yuru-chara on Instagram and Twitter. “I’d say the mascots are an extension of that.”
Hamomin is a rabbit with scissor blades or garden shears instead of typical rabbit ears. These edged ears are an obvious reference for knife nerds: Seki City has been a center of Japanese bladecraft for hundreds of years thanks to the abundant, and high quality natural resources of the area: plentiful timber for charcoal and sand rich with iron.
Mildly horrifying. Great blades come from Seki. Great Mascots, not so much.
View Linked Article