Japanese mascot Ossan made his successful American debut at Anime Expo in Los Angeles which was held from July 2 to July 5. The popular "Go Torch" (also known as "yuru-kyara") appeared as a Guest of Honor at the convention and spent four days giving photo opportunities and prizes through the "#FoundOssan" social media campaign, with hundreds of fans rubbing Ossan's head for good luck.�
The feisty character joked with attendees in both English and Japanese, danced with fans, and gave live interviews to the American press.�
Ossan will return to the United States next month for J-Pop Summit in San Francisco,�August 8-9, where he will continue to bring smiles and share Japanese culture and comedy. More information can be found at�http://www.j-pop.com.
Ossan (sometimes called "Chicchai Ossan") is one of Japan's top local mascots along with Kumamon and Funassyi. There are more than 3500 mascots in Japan, each of them representing a specific prefecture or city.
Ossan's real name is Shinichi Sakata. He is a middle-aged Japanese guy with a strong Kansai dialect from Hyogo prefecture with a wife, four children, and a dog named "Yagi" (goat). Ossan is frequently seen on Japanese television commercials, programs, and game shows. He showed up as a "stamp" on chatting app LINE last year and ranked in the Top 3.�
In Japan, Ossan has become one of pop culture's favorite characters with his sharp tongue and warm fatherly advice. People in Japan think he is very funny -- ask him to play the national anthem and see what he does! There is also a rumor that you can gain good luck if you get a chance to rub his shiny bald head... but you always have to ask him nicely.