Kyoto Shimbun 2014.4.15 News

Celebrating Hikonyan's Eighth Birthday
1,200 People Gather for Birthday Party at Hikone Castle

The eighth birthday party for Hikonyan, the mascot of Hikone City, Shiga Prefecture, was held on April 13 in the square before the tower of Hikone Castle in Konki-cho, Hikone City, where the mascot resides. Approximately 1,200 people, including his fans and tourists, got together under the cherry blossoms in full bloom to celebrate his birthday.

April 13th is the day the name Hikonyan was decided from the ideas submitted by the public in 2006. The date is also registered in the birth date column of his special resident card, issued by Hikone City.

A tremendous cheer rose up for Hikonyan from the gathered crowd, who were shouting "Congratulations!" As part of the celebration, Hikonyan received a bouquet of flowers and a special birthday cake, about 40 centimeters in diameter, from Shozo Kitamura, president of the Hikonyan fan club. While receiving congratulations from fellow local mascot characters, as well as many presents, such as accessories for his horns and sweets, from his fans one after the other, he bowed adorably and waved at the crowd.

On behalf of Hikonyan, President Kitamura expressed his gratitude, explaining, "He is saying he would like to keep doing his best for all of you and Hikone City in the future and he hopes for your continued support."

(translated by Galileo, Inc.)

Photo= Hikonyan expressing his happiness in front of gathered fans as he receives flowers to celebrate his birthday (Before Hikone Castle tower, Konki-cho, Hikone City, Shiga Prefecture)