Japan’s Kingdom of Characters

Yesterday I stopped by Chifley Tower to check out the Japan Foundation’s latest exhibition, ‘Kingdom of Characters’. Its a small but kookily colourful display documenting popular Japanese characters from the 50s to present day. Definitely worth a look in if you’re killing time in Sydney’s CBD.

They even have talks for uber manga nerds. The last one is next Wednesday 25 May!

Japan Foundation Website

And here is what I learned. Japanese characters are all-pervasive within their society, not relegated to the bedrooms of children and the feeble minded. It is not uncommon for civil services to have mascots, or official documents to be decorated with characters.

Here is a display from the Oita City Government website:

The Police force have numerous mascots, representing the different areas. Check it out.

This cute little guy is called Pipo-kun. Who wouldn’t want to be arrested by him??


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