Japan Today —
Kumamon, the popular black bear mascot of Kumamoto Prefecture, has been demoted for being too fat.
The mascot, created as a prefectural tourism campaign, had been on what was described as a “diet” since October 2014 after Kumamoto Governor Ikuo Kabashima pointed out that it was too fat.
As of Tuesday, it was “demoted” from sales manager to assistant sales manager for failing to lose weight, TV Kumamoto reported.
Kumamon is Japan’s most well-known mascot and in 2014, generated 64.3 billion yen in sales of products featuring it. Kumamon’s promotional team receives around 400 applications a month to put the character’s image on various Kumamoto products.
Kumamon currently appears on around 8,200 items, including foodstuffs, accessories and ornaments.