Pretty much everything in Japan has an animated mascot. The Tokyo subway has a penguin mascot. TV networks have mascots, neighborhoods have mascots. Hello Kitty really is the tip of the iceberg.

Blog The Adventures of a Foreign Salaryman in Tokyo has a post on Japanese animated mascots for the Self-Defense Forces, including “Pickles” and “Parsley”. The superimposing of a GSDF anime character over Lynndie England at Abu Ghraib is especially kawaii.

Japan Focus has a very long post on Pickles and Parsley.

(Sorry, Japan Focus, but coming from a country that spends $700 billion a year on defense, has 3,000,000 people under arms, and is involved two wars, I just can’t get hysterical over cartoon characters. Have you considered the fact that’s all you have to get worked up over a sign things aren’t as bad as you think?)


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A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 536 post(s) on Japan Security Watch