The first place of 2018’s Yuru-Chara Grand Prix went to Kaparu, Saitama city’s mascot, near Tokyo. Inpired from the mischievous kappa of Japanese folklore, Kaparu succeeded Shinjo-kun, Susaki’s mascot.
Like kappa, Kaparu has a big mouth and a little hollow on its head which, when full of water, gives him his strength. Kappa are puckish creatures. As the story goes, their tricks go from mere jokes to serious dangers. It is told that they sometimes kidnap children, drown passers-by, or even eat human flesh. There’s no need to fear Kaparu though: the green mascot is harmless and only promotes his city and sports events.
In the second place, Jabow represented Omuta city in Fukuoka Prefecture. Jabow is a snake in a miner’s uniform, with a pickaxe in his hand and a helmet on his head, reminding of the mining history of the city and its snake festival.
Third, Konyudo-kun represented the town of Yokkaichi in Mie Prefecture. This six-year old boy sticks out his tongue like his father, O-nyudo, the biggest mechanical puppet in Japan which features in several festivals in Yokkaichi.
All the winning mascots on twitter.com/yurucharagp