Nagasaki Prefecture mascots asked to be changed for gender equality

The two mascots of Nagasaki Prefecture, Ganba-kun and Ramba-chan, would display gender discrimination as the captain is a boy and the vice-captain is a girl.

Nagasaki Prefecture mascots: Ganba-kun and Ramba-chan
Nagasaki Prefecture mascots: Ganba-kun (left) and Ramba-chan (right)

Several women’s associations on February 4 handed over a request to the Nagasaki Prefecture for changing the mascots.

As the organizations promote an equal society between genders, the two prefecture mascots Ganba-kun and Ramba-chan would be also display gender discrimination.

Ganba-kun and Ramba-chan are two Mandarin ducks that have been representing the prefecture of Nagasaki for public relations events.

They first appeared at the National Sports Festival of Japan, also known as Kokutai, held in Nagasaki in 2014 for the second time. Kokutai is the main annual sport event in Japan where prefectures compete against one another. Each tournament usually has its own mascot.

Ganba-kun was the captain and Ramba-chan the vice captain of the event.

Yuru-chara, the Japanese term for promotional mascot characters, are very popular and common in the country. An annual event determining the most popular Yuru-chara by public voting receive more than a thousand contestants.

These mascots can also become a real business with merchandising revenue.

Since 2014, Ganba-kun and Ramba-chan have been used for public relation events representing the Nagasaki prefecture.

But the captain Ganba-kun, wearing blue clothes, is a man. On the other hand, the vice-captain Ramba-chan wears pink and is a woman. For the associations, this represents a gender discrimination as both gender and position are set.

They therefore asked the Nagasaki prefecture for abolishing the two mascots and thinking of new characters.

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