MASCOT TO HELP GET ENEMA PRODUCT OUT THERE, IN THERE
The Japanese have a mascot for virtually everything.
Now the latest addition is enough to give one pause, cough, because it’s a lot to take in. Kan-chan is an adorable pink penguin mascot from Tokyo-based Ichijiku Pharmaceutical Co. If you’re having some challenge identifying just what Kan-chan is, this friendly looking, cute, kawaii critter is actually an enema. You read that right. An enema.
ONLINE COMPETITION CREATES CUTE ENEMA PENGUIN HORROR
If you were Japanese you’d have some clue already just by the name. Kancho is the Japanese word for enema, making Kan-chan a clear associate, which was the result of an online competition to create a new mascot for Ichijiku Pharmaceutical. Of course, enemas are the company’s most known product, so a representative mascot does make sense form a marketing perspective. No word from anyone about why the cute enema penguin has a cap, or why it’s “actually a hair accessory.”
JAPAN OVERRUN WITH UNKNOWN MASCOTS, REGULATION COMING
There’s a long history of mascots, or yuru-chara, in Japan. Created to promote regions, places, businesses, or products, they are so ubiquitous within Japanese culture that certain prefectures have tried to enact mascot population control. “People do not know what they are promoting or what policy they are trying to raise awareness of,” Osaka Governor Ichiro Matsui told the Asahi Shimbun back in 2014.
PENGUINS SHUDDER WORLDWIDE (MAYBE NOT KING PENGUINS)
Some yuru-chara are downright horrifying — what is this sentient yellow nightmare that’s supposed to be a cat? Or this bear that clearly has gum disease and appears to have been zombified by a fungal virus? (Sorry, that’s not a melon in my book.) At least Kan-chan is actually, you know, cute. And Ichijiku Pharmaceutical isn’t fooling anyone — she’s obviously an enema, and that’s okay!
If her adorableness helps make talking about difficult medical things a little easier, we salute her, ahem, entrance into the world. As Kan-chan excitedly says in her debut tweet: “I’m planning to go to many places in the future.”