Mascots have long been used to front brands in Japan, but Gudetama – a lazy anthropomorphic egg – is a far cry from the cutesy characters typically seen. It now appears on around 1,700 items, boasting its own Twitter feed and pop-up cafés, but how has it won the hearts of people nationwide?
Packing a child’s lunch box in Japan can take a bit more effort than a ham sandwich and a Dairylea Dunker. Some mums spend up to 90 minutes creating 'character bento' boxes for their kids. But is it artistic pleasure or cultural pressure that’s fuelling the culinary craze?
From the Pillsbury Doughboy to Mr. Peanut, food mascots are part of our cultural landscape. But are they anything more than a cute curiosity? A new study suggests that they actually have a powerful psychological effect, eroding people’s ability to exercise impulse control.
‘I’m glad to be Japanese!’ It’s a thought that two-thirds of Japanese people have had. But with nationalism’s long, sordid history in the country, some debate whether it can be taken too far. With a recent spike in patriotism in Japan's popular culture, how is it translating to the rest of the world?
Will L'Oréal’s new volume-boosting 'Miss Manga' mascara – designed to recreate the Japanese ‘anime eyes’ look – appeal to Western women? And how will real anime fans react to the appropriation of their subculture?