bc7

Japan is filled with interesting characters–and by that we mean local mascots and characters, not the wacky TV personalities. From rosy-cheeked bears to wild and crazy pears, there is no shortage of mascots for every prefecture, city, and company.

While Funasshi might be the one stealing the limelight right now, another older character is stirring up a storm online with her revealing outfit!

SONY DSC

The Bubble Princess (“Awahime-chan”) is a cute character from Niigata Prefecture, home to mountains, snow, and Awa Isle, a small island known for its beautiful beaches and excellent camping and fishing. Considering the importance of tourism for the island, it’s hardly surprising that they came up with an eye-catching character to represent the local community.

What is surprising is just how little clothing they gave her: None!

▼ Well, would you wear clothes in the bath??

BC1

Awahime-chan, whose name is written with the character for “bubbles” and not the character in “Awashima,” is depicted with a fish for a hat, some strategically placed soap foam, a warm smile, and…nothing else. Since the Bubble Princess also represents the local onsen (hot spring baths), it kind of makes sense, we suppose.

Now, you may be thinking that this character must be a new thing–otherwise, you would surely have heard of it by now. But that’s not the case at all! The Bubble Princess, who debuted in 2007, is already on her third T-shirt design, with the latest, unveiled in 2012, the most revealing yet. Unfortunately, it looks like anyone wanting at T-shirt will have to go to the Awashima onsen to get one!

▼ The Bubble Princess T-shirt designs by year: 2007, 2009, and 2012.

bc2

While others like Funasshi have had trouble getting permission to become official characters, it seems that Awahime-chan was endorsed by the Awashima local government. We’re as confused as you are, but it seems to be working out for them. The unclothed character has gotten quite a bit of attention online, which is sure to improve the island’s tourist industry.

BC5

Japanese commenters had this to say about the Bubble Princess and her birthday suit:

Is this really okay?

She’s really all “out,” isn’t she? Haha!

She’s totally baring it all! Why the heck did they choose this design??

This can’t be okay! But it’s a hit. Perverts! LOL!

So if you’re looking for someplace to spend the winter vacation, why not head to Niigata and take a dip in an onsen with the Bubble Princess? We’re sure she’ll be happy to see you!

Sources: ITMedia
Images: TwitPic, Naver Matome