Saturday, August 2, 2008

Marimokkori - the mascot of Hokkaido

I want to introduce you to the mascot of Hokkaido: Marimokkori

"Marimo" is actually a rare growth form of algae which is found in Lake Akan in Hokkaido. Marimo grows into large green balls which have a velvety appearance. These algae balls have only been found in Japan, Iceland and Estonia!

So what I'm guessing is that when a brilliant Japanese guy saw these rare algae balls - it inspired them to create a mascot for Hokkaido .

So that is how Hokkaido has come to know and love Marimokkori!!! He actually might beat out my local mascot Tappy (the onion headed fairy whom you can read about in an older post.)

My new bestest friend, Marimokkori, can be found in just about every souvenir shop in Hokkaido. He is so charasmatic... and for a reason... just look at that infamous bulge! Yup... you got that right. "Mokkori" is a Japanese slang term for a guy's erection. My favorite is watching old ladies standing next to him for a picture. hahaha...

The phone charm that I bought is of Marimokkori dressed up as a bird... but you can get him in just about any outfit you want: a pig, penguin, basketball player, a postman, super man, a walrus, dressed up as hello kitty... there was even one of him as elvis! The choices are endless!!! (and no matter what costume he puts on - his smile and bulge are always there!) He is such a flexible and talented guy.

Oh how I love Japan. I don't think it will ever cease to amaze me!

1 comment:

Billy Hooker said...

Hi, I love Marimokkori too! May I also add, they are so popular that there is a different Marimokkori character for every Region and almost every prefecture!! Each Marimokkori is dressed according to an icon in each area. It is fun to find them and collect them while traveling Japan!

- Billy.