One of the most iconic images for Osaka is the smiling clown of Dotonbori, Kuidaore Taro.
The clown was originally placed outside a local Dotonbori store to attract customers, but has become nationally recognizable as an icon of Osaka .
After WWII the Kuidaore Restaurant was established by Rokurou Yamada and he had the vision to create a enjoyable dining experience, while increasing the spirits of the children and community around Dotonbori.
Yamada was inspired by the local Bunraku dolls that are the centerpiece of a traditional Japanese stage performance art. The inspiration of the character is based on a popular serialized novel called “Some Prefer Nettles” about the family dynamics of a family in the Bunraku business by the author Junichiro Tanizaki.
The original doll was completed as a side job by a designer of Bunraku dolls.
When the Osaka Hanshin Tigers won their championship, Kuidaore Taro was thrown into the river along with other fans who were celebrating the historical event by jumping from the Dotonbori Bridge.
In classic humorous Osaka fashion, there is now a sign that asks people not to throw him into the river.
It is said that Kuidaore Taro was the inspiration for the development of other moving mascot advertising characters all over Japan.
Kuidaore Taro now sits in front of the building just a few steps from Dotonbori bridge, having his picture taken with countless visitors and admirers.
Kuidaore Taro is a symbol of the perseverance, dedication, and joyous spirit of the people of Osaka.
1-7-21 Dohtonbori, Chuo-ku, Osaka, Osaka
5 minutes walk from Namba Station on the Osaka subway line
5 minutes walk from Osaka Namba Station on the Kintetsu line
7 minutes walk from Namba Station on the Nankai line
10 minutes walk from Shinsaibashi Station on the Osaka subway line
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