Forbes (US), July 28, 2015

Popular Japanese Mascot Kumamon Meets Keanu Reeves

by Ollie Barder

The much loved Japanese mascot Kumamon recently bumped into Hollywood star Keanu Reeves at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan. Both were happy to meet one another it seems.

Kumamon is the mascot for Kumamoto Prefecture and it initially terrified children due to its rather strange stare but they have warmed to the large black bear since. In any case after its introduction in 2010 the mascot has risen to legendary status in Japan.

So over the weekend Kumamon went to Suzuka and decided to take a motorbike for spin (shown below), however it also appears that Keanu Reeves was present checking out the track for himself.

Naturally Kumamon managed to take a photo with Reeves and Japanese social media went crazy.

Reeves visits Japan quite regularly though and is often seen around Tokyo being his suitably chilled self. A fan of anime, he tried to get a film adaptation of Cowboy Bebop off the ground a few years back but it appears the project has sadly entered into production hell.

So to have Reeves hook up with Kumamon is not actually all that surprising, though it is still rather wonderful.

While the world of Japanese mascots may seem utterly impenetrable, as John Oliver has discovered they perform a very interesting form of social utility in terms of making parts of Japanese government accessible.

My personal favorite is Norurun, the mascot for the Tokyu Toyoku Line, but mostly because he has a habit of getting stuck in things.

Anyway, it seems that Kumamon has made a new friend and one that shares his interest in bikes as well.



Cowboy Bebop

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