Kumamon Invasion: Japan’s Cutest Bear Goes West

Kumamon is coming

This just in, via AkihabaraNews: Kumamon is officially going international. The permanently-surprised anthropomorphic bear has gotten his work visas approved, and you will soon see his visage in its officially-licensed form.

Kumamon (くまモン) is the ursine representative for Kumamoto prefecture, whose weapons-grade cuteness has made him the most popular mascot in Japan.

He’s been mathematically, geometrically, and in all ways scientifically engineered to make you smile, and they sure did the math right.

Soon Kumamon will be loosed upon the world: a grinning, rosy-cheeked marketing rampage.

かわいい in Hawaii.

くま in Parma.

Bear in… Val d’Isere.

I featured Kumamon in my ProductYVR talk on the faces of cities and systems, and the value of generating goodwill by making something lovable.

Kumamon has existed outside Japan for a few years, but only as an out-of-context meme.  Now Kumamon is coming for real: prepare for a cuddliness not seen since Hello Kitty.

About Jordan

Jordan Matthew Yerman started writing during his third year of high school, where his teacher discouraged his use of the eff-word as "crude, unnecessary and uncouth". While attending UC San Diego for his degree in Political Science, Jordan picked up acting; he would later attend the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, living in the UK for four years before relocating to New York City. To get by, he has worked as a proofreader, model, technical consultant, HR trainer, sign-placer, sales director, crate stacker, bartender, photographer, real estate broker, and as an exhibit at the Bronx Museum. As an actor, Jordan has performed in the USA, England, Scotland, Germany, Belgium, and Netherlands, from stage to indie screen to voiceover, including London's West End. Jordan has been around the world 2 3/4 times. He currently lives in Vancouver and works in New Media; capital N, capital M. You can reach him via jordan at international jet trash dot com.