With the worldwide spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, Japan's quirky mascots have never been more relevant. You've already met Quaran, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare's mascot for quarantine. Now prepare to be charmed by Shinjuku Awawa, a sentient superhero soap bubble who promotes proper hand-washing. In fact, March 24 marks Awawa's 6th birthday as the representative for Shinjuku Food Sanitation Association's safe hand-washing campaign.
今こそ、手洗い推進活動を がんばらなきゃとは思うけど、イベント中止で活動現場がないあわぁ💦手洗い啓発のツイートは 多目にしてるけど、他に何かできることはないあわかな〜🤔— 新宿あわわ【公式】感染症・食中毒対策の基本は手洗い💭新型コロナウイルスをやっつけよう❣️ (@sinjukuawawa) February 26, 2020
Awawa is known as a superhero combatting germs and poor hygiene and it fits the image perfectly with a smart red cape and fluffy soap-sudsy body. Awawa is often seen with a female companion who helps deliver the mascot's message to fellow Tokyoites. Awawa even has an official Twitter account, featuring cute videos and helpful hints on the best hand-washing practices, including the song and dance routine shown above.
Awawa is usually spotted on its home turf in Shinjuku, but for the time being, most events and public appearances have been cancelled. Even in this time of social distancing, we're sure Awawa will come to the aid of anyone who truly believes in washing their hands properly. Stay safe, folks!
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