New Mascot at Aso Kumamoto Airport for Tourism Campaigns

New Mascot at Aso Kumamoto Airport for Tourism Campaigns

Kumamoto Airport's new mascot "Asora-kun."

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On May 14, the Kumamoto Prefectural Office announced a mascot for Aso Kumamoto Airport in Kamimashiki District, Kumamoto Prefecture: Asora-kun.

Business and tourism organizations in Kumamoto banded together to form the Aso Kumamoto Airport Promotion Association, which took idea submissions from the public for a mascot who will become a “beloved character” that helps in drawing visitors to the airport and promoting tourism in the prefecture. The selection committee, in which Governor Ikuo Kabashima served as the honorary chairman, took 507 submissions from around Japan and chose the work of Minami Ichihara from Machida, Tokyo Prefecture as the winner. The name Asora-kun was chosen from among the many suggestions submitted.

The character’s design features an anthropomorphic airplane wearing a hat with smoke rising from a Mt. Aso surrounded by a green plain. Ms. Ichihara reportedly wanted to express her impression of the magnificent nature she saw when she visited the volcano. The mascot’s name is a combination of “Aso” and “sora,” the Japanese word for “sky.”

The promotion association will create a character costume and Asora-kun goods to be used at airport events and in the prefecture’s tourism campaigns. Asora-kun is also scheduled to appear at the ceremony on July 23 to commemorate the start of business for Fuji Dream Airlines (FDA), the new airline that will begin operating out of Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport.

According to the prefecture, Asora-kun is the 8th airport mascot in Japan.