Kumamon has taken Japan by storm. He was originally the winner of the 2011 mascot contest and since then has become wildly popular. According to wiki “His success at the contest caused Kumamoto to gather ¥11.8 billion (US$120 million, GB£79 million, €93 million) in merchandising revenues for the first half of 2012”. When I went to Kumamoto in 2013 he was was everywhere in the city.
I wasn’t a big fan when I first saw him, but all the cute ufo catcher toys warmed me and then when I actually went to Kumamoto I was impressed by how much he was there and smiling. I think the statues and good are really cute. I got my friend the Kumamoto ramen since it’s a bit famous and my man a mascot t-shirt because it was a bit too cute.