While walking the streets of Japan, have you ever noticed that there are animal shaped pipe barricades at construction sites? Normally pipe barricades are designed as border lines made in white and red color but in Japan, people decide to take the simple object to a next level and often use pipe barricades in cute animals shapes! These animals designed pipe barricades make all the Japanese people of all different ages smile.
So why do Japanese people use these designed pipe barricades at construction sites? Why does it have to be cute animals?
1. Monkey Pipe Barricade was Firstly Used
A Japanese company called “Sendaimeiban” first created this animal shaped pipe barricades at their construction site in 2006. The company visited Asahikawa city, Hokkaido in 2006 for business and had the impression that Asahikawa city at that time had way too many constructions going on. They felt no vibes of a tourist spot even though the Asahikawa Zoo is incredibly famous! Although the company visited Asahikawa city for business, it was a little disappointing for them to keep catching construction sites everywhere. To get rid of this boring image of dense construction sites in Asahikawa city, the company Sendaimeiban created a special animal designed pipe barricade for Asahikawa city to make all the people who visited feel that they are in a tourist location!
The first one that was ever created had a monkey shape and it became the hit item all over Japan shortly afterward. The monkey is raising both hands as if it is saying “Hooray!” which looks adorable and attractive to many people.
2. Any Other Types of Pipe Barricades?
After Sendaimeiban created monkey shaped pipe barricades, they continued to create many other designs of animals:
Even more special, they started to make pipe barricades of official characters known as “yurukyara” in Japan such as Gunmachan (the official character of Gunma Prefecture), or popular figures like the Hello Kitty. However, there are strict contract rules regarding the use of these characters instead of common animals.
3. Unable to Change the Original Image of Official Characters
Japan is a land of various original official characters such as Hello Kitty, Kumamon, Gunmachan, and so on. In order to make this type of barricade even more popular and beautiful, Sendaimeiban had a strategy to create more kinds of pipe barricades at the construction sites everywhere in Japan that are related to local characters. However, to be able to do this, they first needed to get the permission for using these official characters. When filing contracts to earn the right to use these characters, they had to alter some designs so as to not change the original look of the character they are borrowing!
For instance, when they create the Hello Kitty version of pipe barricades, there was a specific rule in contract for not changing the original character. Normally pipe barricades animals or characters need to be attached with 2 long pipes to hold the “Keep out” sign. However, the Hello Kitty version pipe barricades was not made with 2 pipes sticking through the Kitty because that would violate the contract terms. Hence, they designed a different shape of Hello Kitty standing behind a rainbow, only showing her face so that pipes are sticking through the rainbow instead of from the Hello Kitty’s body itself.
After this article, hopefully, you can understand why there are so many pipe barricades in the shape of cute animals or official characters in Japan. Animals and official characters version were made to fulfill the Japanese people’s simple desire of making the streets more fun to walk through and bring happiness to the normal daily lives of citizens.
Japanese people always adore cute or funny looking characters, so placing popular figures at construction sites can make the area much more pleasant to look at. Do you find them lovely, too? When you pass these special Japanese barricades, remember to take a picture and find your favorite ones!