The Salary of a Japanese Mascot Revealed

Japan’s yuruchara have become indispensable to promoting tourism in remote areas. Yuruchara are mascots which represent certain regions of Japan and will be present at festivals and other events as the memorable face of the area. They can be cute, funny or even downright bizarre as we’ve discussed previously in our weirdest Japanese mascots article.

The sheer amount of mascots in the country is a bit intimidating but certain characters show they’ve got what it takes to rise to great heights. Household names like Funassyi and Kumamon have taken hold in the general public’s consciousness with their hilarious antics, and hoisted their prefecture up to popularity with them.

For mascot enthusiasts, Japan is the promised land. But are these characters rewarded handsomely for their efforts?

They are currently looking to recruit a new ‘inside person’ for Gunma-chan, the adorable recipient of the illustrious Yuruchara Grand Prix First Prize 2014. Information about desired traits for the applicants (including height of course), as well as the monthly salary is available to all on the online job advertisement. This is just one example, but it gives an idea about how much a rookie ‘inside person’ can command.

The answer is a fairly modest 160,000 yen per month (about $1468), but it seems costuming up isn’t the only thing the employee will be expected to do. He or she will work a full 8 hour day doing social media and general PR work, then make appearances as Gunma-chan when required. There’s a tidy 2000 yen (about $18) bonus for each day the 'inside person' suits up as the mascot.

So rather than mascot work, this salary probably just reflects the usual wage given to an entry level PR worker in Tokyo. If the successful candidate proves particularly talented at the characterization of Gunma-chan they can rise through the ranks of mascots and probably gain the cash to reflect this skill. Probably.

So if your dream is becoming a Japanese yuruchara, be in it for the passion and the art, because it might be difficult to make a quick buck off this line of work…

By - Jess.