13 Mar

Hyogo earthquake mascot

lots of Haba-tans

Hyogo mascot

It’s been a shocking few days experiencing my first major earthquake and watching the harrowing news from the more affected parts of Japan. It seems slightly inappropriate to post about mascots with all the sad news but I wanted to mention one relevant character which will hopefully give people some encouragement. Meet Haba-tan mascot for Hyogo. In January 1995 an earthquake struck Hyogo prefecture resulting in the loss of life of more than 6,000 people. Although it was not as strong as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake which measured 9.0 the Great Hanshin Earthquake (6.8) caused expressways to topple over, buildings crumbled and fires raged through the city. Haba-tan is a phoenix and represents the city’s re-birth. My thoughts are with the people in the affected areas in North Japan. Like Hyogo I hope the people and cities can recover from this huge disaster and when the towns are re-built and the people return maybe they’ll create a mascot to inspire the people and encourage tourism. I hope to see them soon. Photos via here and here.

illustration Haba-tan

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