Fuzz & Fur, Japans Costumed Characters
The adoration of mythical creatures and popular anime characters is nothing new in Japan, but kigurumi, roughly translated as “fur suit mascots,” is a growing pastime that is also a marketing tool. An oversized daikon radish, a skiing egg, a bear with an apple for a head, a volcano sticking out its tongue – these furry mascots wander the streets of Japan, and the pages of Edward and John Harrison’s Fuzz & Fur.
Created to promote a prefecture or institution by honoring landmarks, local points of interest, regional produce, historical figures, civic institutions, and traditional folklore, municipalities have taken advantage of their citizens’ willingness to design costumes and dress up as these characters in a strange amalgam of hometown pride and cost-saving measures.
Being chosen to fill the role of a kigurumi is a chance at local stardom, as the authors explain in their introduction: “The characters have background and personalities. Blogs and websites are made, merchandise produced, and they regularly make appearances at events and on television. Some even release books and have Twitter accounts.”
Profiling over 100 kigurumi with photographs and text that explains these mascots’ origins, as well as their likes and dislikes, Fuzz & Fur is the definitive compendium of this fascinating subculture, and the perfect companion to Edward and John Harrison’s Idle Idol, which documents three-dimensional Japanese mascots.
About the Authors:
Fuzz and Fur was written and photographed by What What (http://www.whatwhat.co.uk) which is made up of twins Edward and John Harrison. When not taking photos of mascots they design, illustrate, animate and make badges. John lives in London while Edward lives in mascot heaven; Tokyo.
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