Choruru (ちょるる) is a mascot character who was created for the 66th annual National Sports Festival of Japan and 11th annual National Sports Festival for People with Disabilities which were held in Yamaguchi prefecture in 2011. After the tournaments, he became head of the Oidemase Yamaguchi Tourism Advertising Department, before becoming the Yamaguchi Prefecture PR General Manager in October 2012.

Choruru (ちょるる)
First appearance2007
Created byMitsuo Fukunaga (PH Graphics)[1]
Character TypeRegional Mascot
In-universe information
OccupationYamaguchi Prefecture PR General Manager
Official Websiteちょるるの部屋 (in Japanese)

Outline Edit

Choruru was first introduced on 14 October 2007 at the 'Oidemase! Yamaguchi Kokutai Jump Up Festa 2007'.[2] His design features green antennae which have the shape of the first kanji character for Yamaguchi (山), which catch the abundant energy of the people and nature. His white face is the shape of the second kanji character for Yamaguchi (口), representing the prefecture's name on his head.

The character design was chosen from the 80 entries from a prefecture-wide design contest, with a proposal by Shunan city based design company Sansou Ltd being used. Although the design for Choruru was actually by Mitsuo Fukunaga,[3] of Shunan city based PH Graphics[4] who submitted the design through Sansou Ltd, when the character was officially announced it was accredited to Sansou Ltd president Hirofumi Shigeoka. A civil trial was brought about by Fukunaga to clarify his position as the creator of Choruru, and in 2011 both parties reached a settlement in which Fukunaga was once again declared as Chorurus "art director-cum-designer".[5] As a further point, due to the submission rules for the design contest, the copyright for Choruru belongs to the Oidemase Yamaguchi National Sports Festival Executive Committee.

His name was based on a modified word form from the Yamaguchi dialect ~ちょる(~している doing ~), and was selected from the 9,227 entries that were submitted during the open entry session from 14 October to 30 November, while his design was on show.[6] His name was officially decided and announced as "Choruru" in issue 8 of the "Oidemase! Yamaguchi Kokutai" PR Brochure, published in July 2008.

History Edit

Oidemase Yamaguchi National Sports Festival Edit

From 2008 onward, Choruru participated in a range of events across Yamaguchi prefecture in order to promote the National Sports Festival. Various types of promotional material, pamphlets and commemorative merchandise were made using Choruru's image, and even a song (Fight, Choruru![7]) and dance (Choruru Dance[8]) were created for him. The total sales of related goods, including Choruru National Sports Festival pin badges, topped a ground breaking two hundred and eight million yen.[9]

Oidemase Yamaguchi Year Tourism Exchange Campaign Edit

When the Oidemase Yamaguchi National Sports Festival drew to a close, Choruru's role as the festival mascot also ended. However, from 1 November 2011 he was appointed as "Head of the Oidemase Yamaguchi Tourism Advertising Department",[10][11] a role to continue the promotion of Yamaguchi prefecture as the mascot for the "Oidemase Yamaguchi Year Tourism Exchange Campaign". Though his role was only supposed to last the duration of the campaign, the then governor of Yamaguchi, Sekinari Nii, announced that there might be other opportunities for Choruru besides just tourism, suggesting that there was potential for Choruru to have a PR role in other campaigns.[12]

Yamaguchi Prefecture PR General Manager Edit

On 13 September 2012 at the Yamaguchi Tourism Commission, Choruru's promotion to Yamaguchi Prefecture PR General Manager,[13] a role not limited to the field of tourism but also to widen the appeal of Yamaguchi Prefecture, was recognised. The official appointment certificate was handed over on 11 October by then governor Shigetarō Yamamoto.[14] It was also at this time that the commercial use for Choruru's character design became available without charge. At least 50 applications for commercial goods such as soft toys and sweets were made within the first month of availability, with applications coming with outside the prefecture from Hiroshima and Chiba prefectures.[15]

Yuru-chara Grand Prix Edit

Voting for the 2012 Yuru-chara Grand Prix opened on 15 September 2012, with Choruru making his first entry into the competition on 20 September, successfully climbing to second place by early October.[16] Even though he called for support by visiting the entrance of the Yamaguchi Prefectural Office, the Tokuyama Zoo in Shunan and so on, the gap between him and the top ranked yuru-chara, Barysan from Imabari city in Ehime, in terms of votes received was very large. As such, at an emergency press conference held on 19 October at the Yamaguchi Prefectural Office, as well as a declaration of determination for victory, it was announced that Choruru would visit each area of the prefecture on a promotional tour to call for support.[17][18] When the final results were announced on 25 November 2012, although he could not close the gap on Barysan, he managed to maintain second place having received 462,970 votes.[19][20]

National Health and Welfare Festival Edit

On 27 November 2012, it was announced that Choruru was selected to be the event mascot for the 28th National Health and Welfare Festival. It will be held in Yamaguchi prefecture in 2015 under the name Nenrinpikku Oidemase! Yamaguchi 2015 (ねんりんピックおいでませ!山口2015).[21]

Hello Kitty Friendship Pact Edit

On 25 February 2013 at the Yamaguchi Prefectural Office, Choruru and Hello Kitty were joined in a "Friendship Pact".[22][23] Following the two characters meeting at the 2012 Sanrio Thanks Party, an event held at Sanrio Puroland in December 2012, Yamaguchi began working toward associating with Sanrio. This was the first such pact Hello Kitty had made with another character. Afterwich both characters worked toward sending joy to people by way of participating in each other's events and collaborating on promotional goods and materials.

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ Profile - Yamaguchi Prefecture Tourism Advertising Department (in Japanese)
  2. ^ "広報紙「おいでませ!山口国体2011vol.6」" (PDF). - 第66回国民体育大会山口県準備委員会事務局2007年12月10日 (PR Paper Oidemase! Yamaguchi Kokutai 2011 vol.6)(in Japanese)
  3. ^ ひと交差点:ちょるるの生みの親、福永みつおさん /山口. Mainichi Shimbun(Seibuhan Yamaguchimen) (in Japanese). Mainichi Shimbun Seibuhan. 2011-06-24. Archived from the original on 2012-07-09. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
  4. ^ phグラフィックス - PH Graphics Official Website(in Japanese)
  5. ^ 山口国体:キャラ著作者、お披露目. Mainichi Shimbun(Seibuhan Yamaguchimen) (in Japanese). Mainichi Shimbun Seibuhan. 2011-06-22. Retrieved 2011-07-12.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ マスコットの愛称が決定 - おいでませ!山口国体公式サイト内ニュース&トピックス2008年3月18日 (Oidemase Yamaguchi Koktai Official Website News & Topics 18 March 2008)(in Japanese)
  7. ^ マスコットソング「ファイト!ちょるる」発表 Archived 2011-10-16 at the Wayback Machine - 山口新聞2009年4月26日 (Mascot Song "Fight! Choruru" Announcement - Yamaguchi Shimbun 26 April 1009)(in Japanese)
  8. ^ ちょるるダンス園児披露 下関ゆめシティで50日前イベント Archived 2011-10-16 at the Wayback Machine - 山口新聞2011年8月13日 (Kids Show Choruru Dance at Yume City in Shimonoseki 50 Days Before the Main Event - Yamaguchi Shimbun 13 August 2011)(in Japanese)
  9. ^ 山口ゆるキャラ「ちょるる」、ネット人気投票2位快走 「ぜひグランプリを」知事も期待 Archived 2013-05-02 at - サンケイビズ2012年10月17日 (Yamaguchi's Yuru Character Choruru Hits Second in Net Popularity Contest, Governor Hopes for Grand Prix Victory - Sankei Biz 17 October 2012)(in Japanese)
  10. ^ 【ちょるる日記】「おいでませ山口観光宣伝部長」に就任するよ - おいでませ!山口国体公式サイト (Choruru is Inaugurated as Head of the Oidemase Yamaguchi Tourism Advertising Department - Oidemase! Yamaguchi Kokutai Official Website)(in Japanese)
  11. ^ 国体キャラ「ちょるる」、今度は観光宣伝部長に 山口 - Kokutai Character Choruru Becomes Head of the Tourism Advertising Department Asahi Shimbun 2 November 2011(in Japanese)
  12. ^ ちょるる:国体マスコットから観光へ“異動” 宣伝部長に任命/山口 Archived 2012-07-12 at - 毎日新聞山口版 (Choruru: Transer From Kokutai Character to Tourism, Appointed Head of Advertising - Mainichi Shimbun Yamaguchihan 2 November 2011)(in Japanese)
  13. ^ 「ちょるる」県PR役継続 - (Choruru, Prefectural PR Role Continues) Chugoku Shimbun 14 September 2012 (in Japanese)
  14. ^ ちょるる、「昇進」本部長に - (Choruru Promoted to General Manager) Chugoku Shimbun 12 October 2012 (in Japanese)
  15. ^ ホットボイス 準V人気一過性にしない - (Hot Voice, Jun V Ninki Ikkasei ni Shinai) Yomiuri Shimbun 23 December 2012 (in Japanese)
  16. ^ 山口の「ちょるる」、ゆるキャラGPに初参戦-ランキング急上昇で2位 - (Yamaguchi's Choruru, Shoots to Second Place in First Yuru Chara GP) Yamaguchi Ube Keizai Shimbun 4 October 2012 (in Japanese)
  17. ^ ちょるる、GPへ決意の会見 - (Choruru Determination for GP at Interview) Chugoku Shimbun 20 October 2012 (in Japanese)
  18. ^ "ちょるる県内遊説へ (Choruru's Prefectural Campaign)". Yomiuri Shimbun (in Japanese). Yomiuri Online. 2012-10-20. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
  19. ^ ちょるる堂堂準グランプリ ゆるキャラGP Archived 2014-09-06 at the Wayback Machine - (Choruru's Impressive Semi-Grand Prix, Yuru Chara GP) Yamaguchi Shimbun 26 November 2012 (in Japanese)
  20. ^ 「ゆるキャラグランプリ2012」 優勝はバリィさん 2位はちょるるに - (Yuru Chara Grand Prix 2012, Winner is Barysan, 2nd is Choruru) IT Media 25 November 2012(in Japanese)
  21. ^ 15年ねんりんピックおいでませ!全市町で交流大会 Archived 2014-09-06 at the Wayback Machine - (2015 Nenrinpikku Oidemase! Zen Shichou Kouryuu Taikai) Yamaguchi Shimbun 28 November 2012 (in Japanese)
  22. ^ 「ちょるる」&「ハローキティ」おともだち協定調印式及び知事表敬訪問について Archived 2014-07-24 at the Wayback Machine - (About Choruru and Hello Kitty's Friendship Pact Signing Ceremony and the Governor's Courtesy Call) Yamaguchi Prefectural Information Publication 20 February 2013 (in Japanese)
  23. ^ 山口PR本部長・ちょるる、キティと「お友達協定」-コラボグッズ展開など - (Yamaguchi PR General Manager Choruru and Kitty's Friendship Pact, Developing Collaboration Goods etc) Yamaguchi Ube Keizai Shimbun 16 February 2013 (in Japanese)

External links Edit