Home Society & Culture Kumamon Turns 10 Years Old in 2020 and He’s Having a Party in Kumamoto to Celebrate

Kumamon Turns 10 Years Old in 2020 and He’s Having a Party in Kumamoto to Celebrate

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Oh, bear fairies. They grow up so quickly.

It’s no secret that Japan has a lot of mascots. Just about every town, city, and prefecture in Japan has spent quite a bit of money creating some kind of cute and/or attention-grabbing creature to promote itself. However, only a tiny percentage of these mascots ever reach anything close to the fame enjoyed by Kumamoto Prefecture’s “bear fairy” (yes, technically, he’s not a bear) Kumamon. As one of Japan’s most recognizable and beloved local mascots, it’s no surprise that Kumamoto Prefecture is planning on celebrating his upcoming 10th anniversary this March in a significant way.

The festivities will take place over the course of several days both before and after Kumamon’s March 12th “birthday.” It will all kick off on March 11th with a pre-birthday celebration at Kumamon Square in Kumamoto City. This is, of course, a logical choice being that Kumamon Square is where Kumamon is said to spend his time when he’s not traveling to make appearances in other parts of Japan and the world. Although details about what exactly the festivities will include have not been released, it seems likely that the event will have a matsuri-like (festival) feel with food, merchandise, and appearances by Kumamon. The festivities at Kumamon Square will go on until March 15th.

However, it seems like the real highlight of this five-day long celebration may be what is being called the “Kumamon Birth Festival 2020” (Kumamon Tanjō-sai 2020). Set to take place on March 14-15 at Kumamoto Castle Hall’s Grand Hall, this part of the celebration will feature three live shows: two 90-minute ones on Saturday and the 120-minute grand finale on on Sunday (showtimes can be found here). Details are still sparse for this event too, but the shows will no doubt be a fun family-friendly time featuring plenty of songs and energetic dacing by Kumamon. Reservations for tickets are already being accepted (call 096-223-6618 to enquire about securing your ticket if you plan on attending).

Here’s a promotional video showing off some of the kinds of things you might expect to see during Kumamon’s upcoming birthday festival.

Beyond Kumamon’s birthday festival, it has also been announced that a photo book and CD combo will be released. Set to go on sale on March 12th, the book will be called Kumamon 10th Anniversary CD & Photo Book ~Happy & Surprise~ (くまモン10th ANNIVERSARY CD&PHOTO BOOK~ハッピー&サプライズ~) and will have a price of ¥3,850 (~$38.50).

It certainly is looking like 2020 will be a good year for the smiling symbol of Kumamoto.

The cover of Kumamon’s 10th anniversary photo book and CD combo.

 

Yes, that’s Kumamon on a horse. Apparently, bear fairies can ride horses. This is a sample photo from Kumamon’s upcoming 10th anniversary photo book.
Kumamon has made many appearances all over the world, including Paris, France. This is an example of a photo from Kumamon’s upcoming 10th anniversary photo book.

Source: Kumamon 2020 Website, Kumamon Square Website, PR Times
Featured image: Kumamon Square Website
Insert images: PR Times

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