It's a public holiday today. The weather is swelteringly hot in the rest of the country but here in the windy city of Koriyama there's a fresh breeze which makes the heat bearable. Here's a silly story to match the holiday mood.
There's a trend in this country for every town and city to have its own 'character', as in Disney character. They're known as 'yurakyara' and it's serious stuff. There are national competitions and a famous 'character' will boost local industry and tourism. Not to be outdone, Koriyama has Gakuto-kun (Mr Musical Capital) - for Koriyama, aka the Vienna of the North, has delusions of grandeur in the choral and musical spheres. Here's a picture of Gakuto-kun and his little sister Onpu-chan (Miss Minim) I took months ago and wouldn't have dreamed of mentioning but Gakuto-kun has come top in the qualifying rounds of the Tohoku (north eastern) region and is through to the national final!
A leader in the local paper urges us all to vote - for victory would be a piece of good news and show the world that Fukushima's not beaten. So, I call on you to cast your vote for our local mascot Gakuto-kun!
Voting starts on 10 July to 25th. Here's the link, scroll down and click on the gold bar (キャラいいね）under the picture of our hero. Thanks.http://gotochi2013.jp/finalvote/
Enjoy your holiday,
8 August: Gakuto-kun was 5th (1,981 votes) beaten by the character from Ishibashi in Chiba (near Tokyo) which got over 11,000 votes!