Until now, I didn't think about my hometown so much and have supposed that that's just one of small towns in japan. However, recently, I would like to support my hometown and to let many people know its good aspects.

What makes me change my mind is one tv program. It was a comic show which features "yuru-chara." Yuru-chara is characters for promotion of private companies or governmental organizations. The most famous one is "Hiko-nyan" of Hikone-city. Also "Sento-kun" of Nara prefecture is very famous. During the show, such yuru-characters played some games like Sumo or running. In many cases, such characters are hard to run or act freely, so their movements looked so funny. And, you know, also my hometown's character showed in that program. It's hard to say that the appearance of the character looks sophisticated, but all the more it is really my hometown-like, and looking at him for a long time it becomes lovely more and more...;D

Today's news said that the "yuru-chara" festival will be held in Octber in Hikone-city. Checking more information, I could easily find many characters I watched on the tv show. The characters are so lovely!

I haven't known that many governmental office have their own characters. Though I knew some characters like "Pipo-kun" of Metropolitan police and "Custom-kun" of Custom Office, I didn't know more offices have their characters.

One of them is the "Saiban-inko." Saiban-inko has been created by Prosecutor's office of Kyushu district. It was named for the words "Saiban-in" and "Inko(parrots)," and as you can easily guess that this character promotes "Saibanin-seido (new Japanese jury system)" And more surprising thing is that the Minister had wore this "Saiban-inko." His name is "Hato (pigeon)-yama." So the headline of this article is "A pigeon becomes a parrot." Picture is worth a thousand words...

This news was too funny and a little bit shocking simultaneously...but anyway my point is that some characters among them are playing the important roles for PR of regional areas in japan. You know the economies of japanese regional side has been battered, and promotion of sightseeing business is said to be useful for revitalizing powers of such regional economies. So I hope yuru-charas will be more focused on with their hometown and good aspects of them.

(omake no words)
excise tax  消費税、物品税
snitch (n)密告者、窃盗、(vi)密告する、(vt)(こっそり)盗む
germane (a) ((to))~と直接の(密接な)関係のある、~に適切な
make disparaging remarks 中傷的な発言をする

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