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Japan's discount store Donki reverses decision to replace mascot after uproar

TokyoEdited By: PrishaUpdated: Dec 22, 2022, 05:24 PM IST
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Photograph:(Reuters)

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Japan's largest discount store Donki reverses its decision to replace its mascot Donpen after facing a massive uproar on social media sites.

The largest discount store in Japan, Don Quijote also known as Donki, was forced to reverse its decision of replacing the mascot after it faced massive protests from its fans on social media. 

Donki has more than 600 stores across the nation and is famous for selling multiple ranges of products at discounted prices. Donki's blue penguin mascot wearing a Santa hat 'Donpen' has become the store's identity. 

Hence, when it was announced that Donki will replace Donpen it lead to a huge uproar over Japanese social media in the past week. 

On Twitter, the store announced its decision to replace its penguin mascot with "Dojo-chan", which is an anthropomorphic representation of "do", a Japanese katakana character. No reason was stated for the change in its mascot. 

The sudden decision to replace the mascot led to an outpour of angry reactions on social media. Few people posted their photos in Donpen onesies, while other people said that they will boycott Donki stores.

Meanwhile, a social media user started a poll asking people their preference for the mascot. The post got more than 33,000 clicks as Donpen emerged winner with 93% of the vote.

Don Quijote president Naoki Yoshida, meanwhile, said on Twitter that he failed to "understand the situation either" and had asked "relevant departments" to provide him with clarification.

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After a few hours, Yoshida said that the company would continue with Donpen as the mascot.

"We have taken the opinions of many of you very seriously and have discussed them with our board members. As a result, it was decided that 'Donpen' would continue as the official character," he stated.

Pan Pacific International Holdings, the operator of Don Quijote, issued an apology and added that they appreciated the support of people for Donpen.

As per Donki's official website, Donpen's birthplace in Antarctica and he was raised in Tokyo. He loves "walks at night" and "it's rumoured his appearance changes", said the store.

(With inputs from agencies)