Great Job, Internet!: Inside the benign madness that is a Japanese mascot school

If a teal, pear-shaped bear or a 6-foot-tall bunny rabbit with a rectangular head appeared on the streets in most countries of the world, staggering half-blindly among the citizenry with outstretched arms, it would be cause for alarm. It might even be interpreted as a sign of the end times. But in Japan, such an occasion would be a cause for delight and celebration. In that country, mascots are not limited to sporting events, pizza restaurants, theme parks, and creepy TV commercials the way they are in America. No, the fuzzy, oversize characters are an integral part of Japanese life. The country has possibly the highest mascot-to-citizen ratio of any place on Earth. Malls have mascots. The police have mascots. Even prisons have mascots.

In its ongoing mission to shed light on every aspect of the human condition, no matter how odd or arcane, the informative web series Great Big …

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