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In Japan, An Adorable Mascot Is Introduced To Change A Prison’s Image
By Thia Shi Min, 16 Sep 2013
Japan’s Asahikawa Prison may be an imposing and hostile environment, which is why its staff have introduced an adorable mascot to help change its image.
Called “Katakkuri-chan”, this mascot is named after the dogtooth violet which blooms on a mountain near the prison after the snow melts.
The two-meter wide mascot wears this flower on its head as a symbol of hope and renewal.
This cuddly character also wears the prison uniform and has both a female and male incarnation, making its debut at a weekend fair where people could buy handicrafts made by inmates.
A public relations official stated that this was a move to show that this prison was “open” and “supported by society”, suggesting that its public-friendly image could also help remove the stigma that ex-convicts face when re-entering society.
What do you think—is this a good way of re-branding a prison?
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