Yes, the weird-looking oyster character emerged as the people’s favorite in the Hiroshima Prefecture Mascot Character General Election. The freaky but cuddly bivalve, who served as the mascot of the 2000 National Culture Festival, got 1789 votes, 110 more than runner up Moori, the deer dressed up like a city bicycle cop.
A total of 9271 votes were cast in the “election” to select Hiroshima’s best loved mascot from 12 candidates.
The candidates were restricted to those used in Hiroshima Prefecture public promotions and it’s unlikely that Bunkakki would have stood much of a chance against the likes of Slyly the mascot of the Hiroshima Carp. One also wonders how many of votes were cast by kencho employees at the behest of their section heads.
Anyway, I have a soft spot for Bunkakki, and am quite pleased that he kicked the Kiyomori mascot’s butt.