Even with COVID-19, Kumamoto Prefecture would like to thank everyone online – KUMAMON 2021

Kumamon, with 800,000 Twitter followers, brings happiness to all 

KUMAMOTO, Japan/ — As a token of his appreciation to fans everywhere and determination to spread happiness to all, Kumamon, the Sales Manager and Happiness Manager for Kumamoto Prefecture, is holding KUMAMON 2021, an online networking event with fans.

KUMAMON 2021 event program (online only)

  1. Interactive video “Which Way to Go? Kumamon The Movie”
    A Kumamon story that fans create. The storyline of this interactive video changes as the user selects options during the video. The direction will change depending on how the story progresses, making it a user-participation type video that they can enjoy as many times as they like.
  2. YouTube Streaming birthday party
    Kumamoto Prefecture will livestream an online birthday party from Kumamon Square in Kumamoto Prefecture on Friday March 12, 2021. The birthday party will include surprises and birthday messages to Kumamon from fans, which are collected in advance.

For details of the event, visit the official website (Japanese Only) 

Introducing Yuru-chara® & why they are so popular 

Yuru-chara® is an abbreviation of “Yurui mascot character”. These are mascot characters that are used for promoting all sorts of local information, such as regional revitalization in Japan or introducing local specialty products. They are called “yurui” because this word in Japanese conveys a sense of looseness, a laid-back atmosphere, and this cute (“kawaii”) or healing image makes them popular. The term “Yuru-chara®” was coined by manga artist and essayist Jun Miura.

Thanks to anime and manga being broadcasted and published overseas, the Japanese cultural phenomenon of kawaii has led to widespread awareness of characters created in Japan, and their appeal is thought to have led to the popularity of yuru-chara. Kumamon is already one of the most famous Japanese characters in the Asian region, popularly known by the name Xiong Ben Xiong.

Kumamon Profile

My name is Kumamon. I was created to celebrate the opening of the Kyushu Shinkansen line back in March 2011. My job is to find everyday surprises and happiness that I can share with everyone in the country. While Kumamoto is my home, I also travel to Kansai, Kanto and other regions to passionately spread the word about Kumamoto’s delicious food and pristine nature! The governor of Kumamoto has appointed me as the prefecture’s Sales and  Happiness Manager, and this has made me even more enthusiastic. I want everyone to know more about my beloved Kumamoto, so you are going to see more and more of me! Remember the lovely Kumamoto and me, the un-bear-ably charming ambassador of Kumamoto.

Kumamon official website: