Japanese artists have anthropomorphized pretty much everything — from hot springs and WWII ships to operating systems and KFC biscuits. The latest to join their ranks is this butsudan (home Buddhist altar) girl: the new company mascot for Kadoi Butsuguten.
The character was chosen from 51 entries sent in over the summer to Kadoi Butsuguten's Kanagawa Moeshoku contest page. The company requested a kind-hearted character who also conveyed the importance of Buddhist memorial services. The company is hoping that this new mascot will help interest younger demographics in the use of home altars and the practice of honoring their ancestors.
The winning artist received a grand prize payoff of 300,000 yen.
The Kanagawa Moeshoku website is dedicated to running contests like these, where companies in Kanagawa Prefecture can run contest to find mascot art for their companies. Sister sites exist for various other areas around the country.
Kara Dennison is responsible for multiple webcomics, runs social media and interviews for (Re)Generation Who, and is half the creative team behind the OEL light novel series Owl's Flower. She blogs at karadennison.com and tweets @RubyCosmos.