Jul 22 2016

Japanese Go Torch Mascots Return to J-Pop Summit 2016


Last year’s hit Japanese pop culture Go Torch characters are returning to San Francisco’s J-Pop Summit this weekend to bring more laughter and unique Japanese culture to the 3-day event, July 22-24.

The Go Torch (or “Yuru-Kyara”) mascots represent different prefectures or cities in Japan, and there are currently more than 3500 active mascots, popular throughout the country for their bright personalities and participation in public events. Last year’s mascots, led by Ossan’s charming personality and quick humor, provided days of fun and smiles at J-Pop Summit. This year, an even greater number of characters will be performing on the Fort Mason Stage and entertaining attendees around the festival.

The 8 visiting mascots represent a far-reaching span of Japan’s local culture, including the paper bag fairies SanaSenaBona (from Sasebo), twin bears Koakkuma & Akkuma (from Hokkaido), Zombear (from Otaru City, Hokkaido), Umebara Hibari (from Ibaraki), and AsakuSamurai (from Asakusa). J-Pop Summit attendees can meet the mascots in person and post selfies with hashtag #jpmascot to receive a free gift at the Go Torch booth #105.

The colorful characters will also appear at the Ramen Summit and Sake Summit for greetings, and all 8 mascots will present a special live performance on the Fort Mason Stage on July 23rd at 5:00pm, joined by a local Otagei dancing group and live guitar music.

The Go Torch mascots are supported by NePt Japan and Nippon Travel Agency, who are offering a special tour package to visit the Hokkaido and Kyushu areas exclusively during the event.

More Go Torch Schedule information at booth #105.

Show information at http://www.j-pop.com/go-torch-2016


SanaSenaBona is a “paperbag fairy” idol group from Sasebo, Japan. The 3-girl group sing, dances, and chats with everyone they can about their great city. Sana loves sports. Sena loves fashion and she can use magic. Bona loves to laugh and she is a very loveable character.

SanaSenaBona Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sanasenabona
SanaSenaBona Homepage: http://sanasenabona.com
SanaSenaBona Instagram: https://instagram.com/sanasenabona


Koakkuma and Akkuma are from Hokkaido. They are twin bears that came from a planet named “Akkuma-Sei.” Koakkuma, the younger sister in pink, is cute and kind. Her motto is “Smile, change the world.” Akkuma, the elder brother in purple, is good at playing guitar.

☆ Koakkuma:
Birthday: 6/6/20008 (according to the Akkuma Planet calendar)
Personality: Obedient, pure, loves to eat
Hobby: Cooking
In June of 2008, Koakkuma came from the Akkuma Planet to Hokkaido. When she lost her memory and felt really uneasy, “smiles” encouraged her. Now she works to make people smile with her slogan, “Smile Change the World.” Koakkuma goes to all 179 cities in Hokkaido (the “Koakkuma Caravan”), invigorates the local communities by hugging people, and making people smile.

☆ Akkuma:
Birthday: 6/6/20008 (according to the Akkuma Planet calendar)
Personality: Naughty, bitter, mischievous
Hobby: Playing the guitar
In July of 2008, The great king of Akkuma ordered Akkuma to pursue Koakkuma. We don’t really know why Akkuma is pursuing Koakkuma, but because he is always being lazy, the great king is always mad at him. He is really good at guitar and can play many different kinds of music such as J-Pop and rock with his fluffy hands. His live guitar performances fascinate audiences and are a must-see!

Homepage: http://koakkuma.jp
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KOAKKUMAandAKKUMA
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/KOAKKUMAandAKKUMA


Umebara Hibari is an anime otaku from Ibaraki prefecture. She loves drawing manga and listening to j-pop music.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/umebarahibari


Zombear is from Otaru City, Hokkaido, and he travels all over Japan looking for the boy who used to take care of him. After 70 years, he is still roaming with holes and rips… His favorite food is fresh salmon!

Homepage: http://zombear.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zombearlivingdead


AsakuSamarai (“Asukasa” + “Samurai”) are dragon samurai born in Tokyo’s famed Asakusa district, who perform dazzling ninja tricks and sword fighting.

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/asakusamurai