The "Yuru-Kyara" (揺るキャラ), a subset of the "working characters" that we profiled in Hello, Please!, are regional mascots created in a semi-desperate effort to boost the visibility of far-flung areas of Japan. Nearly every prefecture boasts its own super kawaii mascot character, and more than a few towns and villages have created their own as well. Most are anthropomorphic versions of the area's specialty (such as a certain crop or a local dish), and costume versions of them are trotted out at festivals and such to keep the kids (and adults) occupied.
The term "Yuru-Kyara," a contraction that roughly translates into "weak character," was coined by artist Jun Miura. It refers to the fact that the actual marketing potential of most of these guys is limited at best. Here Miura has created an animated music video featuring local mascots from all over Japan. Watch as they bust a move to that festival drum beat! For the truly obsessed, here's a link to all of the videos tagged "Yuru-Kyara" on Youtube.jp.