In Japan, cute mascot characters are very popular to help promote many stores, restaurants and merchandise.
Even the Tokyo police, fire department and Japanese military have mascots.
Also, cities and prefectures in Japan have cute or funny mascot characters that are related to some local food or animal.
They are used to help promote tourism to the area.
These characters are normally cute … or at least try to be.
So, the new mascot for the northernmost Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido was on the news recently because not only is the character not cute… but it’s actually on there scary side!
Hokkaido is famous for the wild bears (熊 (kuma) in Japanese) and the cantaloupe (メロン (melon) in Japanese)… so the character is 「メロン熊」(“Melon-kuma“).
It’s a bear with a Japanese cantaloupe melon for a head … and has angry eyes and huge teeth!
It’s also fond of trying to bite people!
Quite different from the usual mascots in Japan!
Here’s a video of the melon-kuma trying to bite people and promote tourism to Hokkaido: