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Gundam Designer Okawara Creates City's Mascot Robot

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Grandma-inspired "Basama Robo" to be featured on T-shirts, hiking flags

Kunio Okawara, the mechanical designer of many Gundam projects including the first television anime series, has created a robot mascot character for Minami Uonuma City in Niigata Prefecture.

The mascot's name is Basama Robo (which comes from the word "Baba-sama," meaning old lady), and when seen from the bottom, the robot has a heart shape. (Okawara's Zeong mobile suit design from the first Gundam anime also shares a similar silhouette.) The robot's model name is Ba-634, named because the height of the Sakatoyama mountain in the city is 634 meters (2,080 feet) tall.

Basama Robo's ultimate weapon is kirizai, a local specialty food made up of minced pickled vegetables and fermented soybeans (natto). When Basama's grandchild Abe-chan came home from school one day hungry, Basama had not done the shopping, and so she made kirizai from leftovers. Even though her grandchild complained there was no meat in the dish, he ate all of the kirizai in the blink of an eye. Whenever anyone eats Basama's kirizai, they finish smiling.

City staff will wear shirts featuring Basama Robo, and flags marking the pathway ascending Sakatoyama mountain will also feature Basama Robo.

[Via Hachima Kikō]

Images © Kunio Okawara, Minami Uonuma City

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