Mascot mania endures in Japan where schools train characters for ‘cute’ roles at Olympics and more

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Mascots representing the Tokyo Olympics are only the latest in a cast of cute characters that have long made their mark in Japan. The cartoonish creatures have found a marketing role, in part because they connect with many fans in a nation where there are underlying cultural factors such as animist religious beliefs. Mascots have become so popular that schools have formed to train performers for jobs as costumed mascots.


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