Japan certainly is a country that's in touch with its "inner cute," and it's amazing how easily boring products can be turned into adorable objets d'art, like these everyday household items we sell on J-List. For reasons that are unfathomable to me, it's common for cities or organizations to create "mascot characters" to represent themselves, and when I took my trip to northern Japan I knew I'd encounter a few of these cute creations. Commodore Perry is the man who forced Japan to end its isolationaist policies and trade with the West, and since he's very popular in Japan I wasn't surprised to see a cute-ified version of him in Hakodate -- of course named Perry-kun -- and I couldn't resist buying little cookies with his face as a gift for the J-List staff. They had also transformed the historical character of Toshizo Hijikata, who founded the famous Shinsengumi samurai brigade which fought on the side of the Tokugawa Shogunate during the Meiji Restoration and died at the Battle of Hakodate in 1868, into a similarly cuddly mascot to promote the city and its local products.
There's nothing that can't be made kawaii in Japan.