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In Japan, An Adorable Mascot Is Introduced To Change A Prison’s Image

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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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