- Hardcover: 144 pages
- Publisher: Mark Batty Publisher; 1 edition (June 22, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0984190619
- ISBN-13: 978-0984190614
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 7.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #839,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Idle Idol: The Japanese Mascot Hardcover – June 22, 2010
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The book features just slightly over a hundred mascots, ranging from worldwide popularity like Astroboy or Gundam to less known mascot created for government campaigns.
The stories for each mascot is short but entertaining, sometimes hilarious. There's Currypanman who can shoot curry at enemies, Kinnikuman who can fly by farting, Hachiko the cute loyal dog (recently made into a movie starring Richard Gere) and many others, some mythical.
It's a very interesting book for those into Japanese pop culture.
But the history of these creatures goes further back than the ubiquitous drugstore Indians of the Old West. In Japan these 'dolls' (sometimes quite large in size) have been in use for the better part of the last century. The Harrisons separate the figures into categories - Hero, Legend, Spokesperson, TV Star, Entertainer, Chef, Doctor, and Meeter/Greeter. They all have names and meanings and are a highly visual means of attracting the public eye. The book is filled with hundreds of these characters. An interesting finding is the inclusion of the American figures of Bob's Big Boy, Ronald McDonald, and Colonel Sanders in the 'Chefs' section!
Each of the Idols pictured is accompanied by a short history and explanation of the meaning and the use in Japan. Even the method of naming them is discussed. The photography is excellent -all in full color - and the design by Mark Batty Publisher is, of course, of the expected high standard of all their books. Grady Harp, June 10