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A couple of years ago, Sento-kun, a half-deer, half-Buddha boy mascot, was chosen to represent the 1,300th anniversary of Japan's ancient capital being relocated to Nara. At first, the baby-faced boy with antlers (the deer is considered a sacred animal in Nara) was not well-received. Many found it ugly and disrespectful toward Buddha. Now, however, Sento-kun—designed by Satoshi Yabuuchi, a sculptor and professor at Tokyo University of the Arts—is being praised by Nara authorities for the amount of attention that he has brought to the city.
The Wall Street Journal has the story.
Image: from the Wall Street Journal.