Watch out Japan, these oddly adorable mascots are coming in strong!
FRESH TAIWAN is a movement aimed at promoting Taiwan’s rich culture, much like what COOL JAPAN does with Japan. Things are heating up though, as Taiwan’s horde of popular mascots will be appearing at Tokyo Big Sight in June, giving Japan a taste of the mascots from its island neighbor.
First up on the list of Taiwanese mascots making an appearance is Riceman, a depiction of a salaryman working at a game company. He has a lovely wife, two kids and a rotund Shiba Inu for a pet. The world of Riceman focuses on family and work life, with themes drawn from rice products found in various Asian countries. He might be small in stature, but this little grain of rice is wildly popular across all ages in Taiwan.
Next is Lito and Lu, a canine and deer duo popular with pet enthusiasts. On top of its innocent smile and adorable expressions, the main character Lito reminds people of what they love about pets, helping it gain over 470,000 followers on social media.
Taiwanimal features several animals from different backgrounds who were forced out of their homes due to deforestation. With nowhere to go, they each chance upon the same cave and become friends quickly, vowing to protect what’s left of the forest.
Morita Chen is a girl whose short, yellow hair changes color according to her emotions and surroundings. She loves mushroom soup, sleeping beside mushrooms, and has a soft spot for nature. Morita’s girlish and cute characteristics makes her a hit among young Taiwanese women.
PeaQuin is a half-peacock, half-penguin mascot who seeks to befriend the rare animals of Sun Moon Lake and make them part of her family. Sun Moon Lake is also Taiwan’s largest lake, where PeaQuin and her friends remain vigilant protecting its wildlife.
Finding Delicacy is a colorful picture book that begins with a mother cat cooking meals every day to feed her two kittens. There are always leftovers though, and a monster turns up that kidnaps the mother cat as punishment for leaving behind food. The kittens thus set out on a long journey to bring her back, gradually learning their mistake and discovering the importance of food in the process.
The Win Brothers are two siblings born in the food city of Taipei, with a fondness for food, dancing, and singing. The pair have appeared on a huge range of children’s merchandise, from toothbrushes and cutlery to tote bags.
In order to help these and other cute mascot characters gain momentum in Japan, they’ll be appearing at the Licensing Japan Trade Show at Tokyo Big Sight from 28 to 30 June. This annual trade show also features a myriad of characters and brands, attracting over 40,000 visitors in 2016.
While Japan has no shortage of their own mascots, some of them incredibly and bewilderingly disturbing, they will be contending with a new batch of challengers from Taiwan very soon!
7th Licensing Japan Trade Show / 第7回 ライセンシング ジャパン
Address: Tokyo, Koto-ku, Ariake 3-11-1 (Tokyo Big Sight)
Open: 28-30 June, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.