The Japan Society
Education Events & Special Programmes

To get in the spirit of the Olympic Games in Japan, the Japan Society is holding the Yuru-Chara Design Contest.  We want everyone to design a mascot representing an area of the UK to support GB at Tokyo 2020. Everyone is welcome to join in and create a Yuru-Chara mascot of their own!

What is Yuru-Chara? | Contest Guidelines  | Mascot Location Map | Mascot Gallery | Tokyo 2020 Activity Pack

What is Yuru-Chara? 

In Japan, there is a mascot for almost everything, including this year’s Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games – have you seen the official mascots, Miraitowa and Someity? They are designed to highlight special things about Japan. For example, Someity is pink like cherry blossoms and Miraitowa's blue pattern is based on a traditional checkered design called Ichimatsu!

Yuru-Chara is the name for mascots in Japan which have been designed to represent local areas, companies, or events! Chara stands for 'character'. Japan is split into 47 areas called prefectures and almost every city and town in each prefecture has its own mascot! Osaka prefecture alone has over 40 mascots. They really are everywhere in Japan! 

Every Yuru-Chara has a different personality, likes and dislikes and come in all shapes and sizes. One of the most important things about Yuru-Chara is that they have features which represent unique things found in the local area. Check out examples of Yuru-Chara from Japan below.

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Yuru-Chara Mascot Design Contest Guidelines

To celebrate the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo this year and the important role of mascots in Japanese culture, we invite you to design your own Yuru-Chara to support Team GB!

Follow the guidelines below when designing your mascot:

  • Your Yuru-Chara should represent an area of the UK (perhaps where you were born or where you live now)
  • The mascot should also have 1 or 2 small features to represent your chosen area
  • The character must be performing one of the summer Olympic or Paralympic sports in your design

Example of a UK Yuru-Chara: 

A member of our team designed Noj to represent Norwich, but we want as many mascots as possible representing places all across the UK to cheer on team GB in Tokyo and we need your help! 

How to Enter the Yuru-Chara Design Contest 
  • Download and use the entry form
  • Design your Yuru-Chara to represent an area of the UK
  • Your Yuru-Chara should also have a name, a favourite sport and personality!
  • Take a photograph or scan a copy of your entry and send it to education@japansociety.org.uk to enter* 
  • Anyone is welcome to send us their Yuru-Chara, but entrants must reside in the UK to be eligible to win a prize
  • Winners will be selected from different age categories and will be notified by email after the closing date 
  • By entering the contest, participants agree to their Yuru-Chara being shared on our website and/or social media (personal information will not be shared)

Deadline for entries: Sunday 5 September 2021


*Please note that we cannot accept posted entries; only entries sent by email will be entered into the competition. 

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Mascot Location Map

Check out the map below to find out location of your yuru-chara and others across the UK! Click on each pin to see the design! Also see gallery below for all design entries.


Mascot Gallery

 

  You can also share your design with us by using the hashtag #JSYuruChara: facebook link Twitter link Instagram link  
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2020 Tokyo Olympics Activity Pack

Download our newest activity pack 2020 Tokyo Olympics to learn more about the Games and Japan while you wait for the different sports events to begin! The entry form to the Yuru-Chara Design Contest is included in the pack.

For more resources on the Olympics, visit our resource page.

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