Twitter / @mondomascots

Japan loves mascots. So much, in fact, that the country has even had to enforce mascot population control.

These wacky, life-sized characters all pop up regularly throughout the country, spreading joy, laughter and, occasionally, just pure confusion.

Their quirks and often comprehensive backstories became a source of fascination for photographer Chris Carlier, who began to collate images of his favourites a few years ago. He quickly turned the project into a blog and established a corresponding Twitter account, @MondoMascots, which now boasts more than 30,000 followers.

It’s not hard to see the account’s viral appeal; the weird and wonderful come together in spectacular form, providing both light relief and a fascinating insight into Japanese culture. Alongside pictures and stories on mascots, there are also a handful of clips which are sure to brighten even the dampest of days; a pinned tweet depicting Coroton, an impossibly cute pig mascot dancing outside a shrine, is exemplary.

To find out more about the account, its inspirations and its founder, we reached out to Carlier, who has lived in Tokyo for the last sixteen years, to talk mascot conventions, enema marketing and his favourite accident-prone otter with a tortoise for a hat.

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