Never underestimate Japan’s ability to cutify everything. The mascot character associated with the Tokyo Sky Tree, currently under construction in Sumida ward, was officially introduced Thursday. The character’s name is Sorakara-chan, which, literally translated, means “From the sky-chan.”
The character was chosen by means of a competition run by Tobu Railway in which 28 advertising companies vied for the high profile branding opportunity.
Sorakara-chan was chosen from over 65 characters entered into the competition.
The mascot even has a whimsical back-story to help solidify the public’s identification with the brand.
Sorakara-chan is a girl with a star-shaped head hailing from the “Pointy Star” from which she scanned the universe using her favorite telescope. She apparently saw the 634 meter Sky Tree brightly piercing through the clouds, which enable her to find and visit Tokyo. Her clothes are imprinted with a design based on the framework of the Sky Tree itself. Character merchandise and other PR materials are already being prepared for the Sky Tree’s public opening ceremony.
The mascot selection process and the Sky Tree construction project are being led by Tobu Railway and a conglomeration of six Japanese television broadcasters including NHK.
Construction of the Sky Tree is scheduled to be completed by December 2011, but the official ceremony, with the help of Sorakara-chan, is scheduled to take place in spring 2012. The completed structure will be the literal center of a large-scale commercial development project as it is located between Narihirabashi and Oshiage stations.
Sorakara-chan’s back-story about the impressive reach and visibility of Tokyo Sky Tree speaks to its main purpose as a television and radio broadcasting tower.
Although the current broadcasting tower, Tokyo Tower, was once a crowning achievement on Tokyo’s skyline, it is now no longer tall enough to provide complete digital terrestrial television broadcasting coverage as it measures only 333 meters and is surrounded by high-rise buildings.