Japanese Mascots exemplify the concept of kawaii, which means cute. Kawaii is very, very popular in Japan right now. Don't believe me? Take a look at the following 7 mascots:

1. Pipo-Kun

One of the most easy to spot mascots in Tokyo is Pipo-kun, the mascot of Tokyo Metropolitan Police. You can see posters or paintings with Pipo-kun displayed on walls, construction sites fences or shop windows.

2. & 3. Kiccoro and Morizo

Kiccoro and Morizo were the mascots of the 2005 World Expo in Aichi prefecture. Kiccoro the Forest Child is full of energy. Morizo is an easy-going and kind old man.

4. Furi-bi

Furu-bi is the mascot of the Japan pavilion at EXPO Zaragoza 2008. He is on the left of the picture above, alongside Kiccoro and Morizo from the Aichi 2005 EXPO.

5. Mascott for the 1,300th anniversary of Heijo-kyo

The year 2010 marked the 1,300th anniversary of Heijo-kyo, the capital city of Japan for much of the Nara period (710-794), and home to the remains of the Imperial Palace, now a UNESCO World Heritage site. This is the mascot they chose after what can only be described as the cutest controversy ever, where people fought bitterly over 21 mascot submissions/nominations.

6. & 7. Sato-chan and Satoko-chan

This pair may be the most ubiquitous in Japan. Standing outside drug stores all over Japan, the elephants are often dressed in different costumes depending on the season or time of year. Sato-chan, the orange elephant, first appeared outside stores in 1961 sitting on top of a rocket. His sister, Satoko-chan, joined him in 1995. The siblings are modelled after an Indian elephant, which the creators believed to have a calm and gentle nature.