Spotted on RocketNews24:
Scowling mascot brings a little fame to Japan’s least popular prefecture
Shimane Prefecture, ever heard of it? If your answer is a resounding “no,” you’re not alone. The oddly shaped prefecture stretching along the western coast of Japan is barely known within its own country, let alone abroad.
But one disgruntled mascot is out to bring Shimane’s shortcomings to light, making fun of the prefecture’s lack of popularity and population, and giving the area a little boost in positive publicity online.
For the 95 percent of you who don’t know, Shimane is a prefecture in the Chugoku region of Japan. Its claim to fame is having the most elderly people of any other prefecture and the most centenarians. Year after year, Shimane battles it out with neighboring Tottori for the title of “least populated prefecture” and has repeatedly landed itself at the very bottom of lists ranking areas by popularity.
Few tourist find their way to Shimane and many people understandably mistake the prefecture for its neighbor, Tottori, an area popular for its sprawling sand dunes. The mix-up has inspired Shimane’s adoption of Yoshida-kun, a snarky and very unhappy-looking character that isn’t afraid to let tourists know of Shimane’s weak points.
Here’s a souvenir that can be purchased in Shimane:
1. “Shimane or Tottori, I’m not really sure which, but I went over to that area”
It seems the brutal honesty of Yoshida-kun has caught the attention of many Twitter users, inspiring delighted Tweets at the sight of his scowling face. Yoshida-kun makes a few more appearances at tourist spots around the forgotten prefecture. His other sayings are as candid as the one above.
2. “Welcome to Shimane, the 47th most famous prefecture.”
(There are only 47 prefectures in Japan)
3. “Shimane at least has delicious cake”
4. “Shimane. On the left side of Tottori.”
I don’t know! I just kept smiling whenever I look at the photos above. The person who thought up of this mascot is a PURE genius because I just wanna go to Shimane Japan just to get one of cakes or SOMETHING with Yoshida-kun’s face. Hehe. What do you think?(:
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