The humble town of Oji in Nara Prefecture has come up with a novel way to challenge big cities like Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto for your tourist dollars.
Oji has just unveiled its new mascot, Yukimaru, in an adorable video that features the robotic doggo flying around town.
Yukimaru, which is being billed as the world’s first drone mascot, is inspired by the Japanese legend of Prince Shotoku, who gave food and clothing to a seemingly homeless beggar. The story goes that Shotoku believed there was something otherworldly about this man, and after the beggar’s death, he was proven right, as the beggar’s body vanished from his tomb.
The people were impressed by Prince Shotoku’s ability to recognise the beggar’s magical nature, and so they built the Daruma Temple in Oji in his honour. They also built a shrine to Prince Shotoku’s pet dog, Yukimaru.
In fact, the drone Yukimaru even flies past his namesake’s grave in the promotional video!
Oji Town claims that the drone will be a regular at local events and festivals, and you might even find him flying around town on his days off.
Never forget — the world can be a dark and scary place, but somewhere out there, a robot dog inspired by a 7th century nobleman’s puppy is probably taking to the sky right now.
You can watch the promotional video above, or zoom in on Yukimaru’s design in the video below.
Do you think Brisbane could do with a drone mascot? Let us know in the comments below!