The city of Nara is preparing for the 1300th anniversary of the establishment of Heijo-kyo, the capital of Japan during much of the Nara period (710-794). To commemorate, they accepted numerous proposals for an official mascot and chose this fantastically preposterous illustration of a young monk with antlers. (Deer have become a symbol for the city.) Blogs and forums like 2ch are abuzz with incredulous reactions to this mascot, which is creeping out most and even offending some, who have started a petition to annul this abomination.
Some are having fun with it, like with this playful parody, but others are being used to scare babies in shopping malls. Picture after the jump…
Now they’ve started unleashing the mascots on the public, much to the chagrin of this young citizen:
(As it turns out, this was a photoshopped image, and a walking mascot has yet to be seen on the streets of Nara. But still…)