HIS EXCELLENCY PIKACHU: Japan foreign minister appoints children’s characters as ambassadors


In a very ordinary development from Japan this past week, the country’s foreign minister Taro Kano appointed popular children’s characters Pikachu, from the cult series Pokémon alongside Hello Kitty as official ambassadors for the city of Osaka, Mashable online magazine reported yesterday.

In honour of their role in publicising Japan around the world, the foreign minister, who is a representative of the Liberal Democratic Party, announced in an English message on the 29th November, that Pikachu and Hello Kitty would represent Osaka in its bid to host the World Expo 2025. Accompanying the tweet were two photos of Kono handing official dossiers of appointment to two individuals dressed in the children’s cartoon character costumes.


Hello Kitty, designed by Yuko Shimizu for Sanrio, has been adored by countless girls and boys since 1974, while Pikachu, the lead character of the animated Pokémon series and friend of human youngster Ash Ketchum, who always chooses him to battle other Pokemon, will be considerably pleased at being chosen for this prestigious appointment by the government of Japan. Pikachu first appeared on a video game in 1996 and the TV cartoon became a defining memory of the late 1990s and early 2000s

The appointments come as Osaka vies for the chance to host the 2025 Expo alongside three other nominated cities, Paris, France; Yekaterinburg, Russia; and Baku, Azerbaijan. If Osaka does win the bid, it will be next in line after Dubai hosts the 2020 event. The winner will be announced in November 2018.


Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984

RΛMIN NΛSIBOV, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/RaminNasibov

“Pikachu gets his highest honor yet, becomes Japan city ambassador” – Victoria Ho, Mashable UK/Mashable, Inc. (1 December 2017) http://mashable.com/2017/12/01/pikachu-ambassador-osaka/#0YiaW17MCkqa

KONO Taro, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/konotaromp




PHOTO MOMENT: My niece Shaniya’s fifth birthday

This 18th September 2014, my niece Shaniya turns a half-decade old. Only a few weeks short of her fifth birthday, she has grown to a remarkably intelligent and polite little girl. This week, she started reception class at a nearby primary school after being done with nursery. She got to meet her new teacher, Mrs. Cook and a host of new friends and seems to adapting well to the new environment.

I have already sorted out a couple of nice presents for her, of which one still is being waited on to be delivered. I’m not sure what her parents are planning for her birthday yet, but I do know she will get a nice birthday cake, lots of presents, hugs, kisses and exhaustion from running around all over the flat on her special day. She loves cake and on a previous birthday bash, actually showed more enthusiasm for the chocolate gateau she was presented with, than the presents themselves.

My niece has stunned me by how much she has learned from family and from her old nursery. She is a quick learner and likes to pretend to be a princess or a superhero. Her favourite superheroes are Spiderman, Batman and the Incredible Hulk. She is very chatty, practically non-stop, and likes to sing the song “Let It Go” from the Disney film ‘Frozen’.

In honour of my crazy ‘Shooby’ I made this special ‘birthday flyer’ using piZap. I used a ‘Hello Kitty’ wallpaper as the background. This was the canvas which I used to then build upon the flyer. Hello Kitty is one of my niece’s cartoon characters of choice and the Japanese kawaii cat by Sanrio in fact is celebrating its own 40th birthday this year.

Shanis 5th bday flyer pizap.com14100003144411

To give you an idea of how I made the flyer, which I know my niece is going to love, here is the ‘recipe’ I wrote on Notepad as I was putting everything together and planning on the trot:-

Ingredients for Shaniya’s 5th b’day poster:

1. Pre-downloaded pink Hello Kitty wallpaper – uploaded to pizap.
2. Text “Happy 5th Birthday” in deep pink with white backglow. Typeface used was Black Chancery at size 30.
3. Text “SHANIYA” in white with a pink/purple backglow. Typeface – Sniglet at size 50.
4. Text “18 September 2014” – date of her fifth birthday with pea green Cutty Cupcakes typeface at size 50, angled
at a slant
5. “Best wishes…”text typed in black Times New Roman at 24. Text box then tilted.
6. Added in stickers from the birthday section of the stickers section.
7. Added in yellow “Star of Bethlehem” sparkles from sparkles section.
8. Added assortment of pictures of Shaniya from family images on USB drive.
9. Finally added some traditional embroidered hearts from the hearts section.

The pictures are of Shaniya in some of her favourite poses and costumes, especially her princess dresses. That cheeky grin of hers is a common feature too. She is very photogenic and not only likes putting a show for the camera but also is quite good at taking pictures herself.

I’ll leave you with a selection of quotes from Nye-Nye herself and another piZap creation made by her mum, Alia.

“Football is Skittles, and Skittles come from the Fruit Shoot”

“I’m a good girl!!”

“Monsters in the rosebush”

“I am Spiderman….psshhhhh”

“Nani/Mum/Daddy…I want chocolate”

“Give me huggles”

“You count, I hide!”

“I want to go shops Mum, buy sweeties”

“What spells chair?….good job!”

“Vijaymama, can I play with your phone?…I’ll keep it on charge”

(c) A. Ropun/piZap
(c) A. Ropun/piZap


+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*HAPPY 5TH BIRTHDAY – SHANIYA!!!*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+

“Hello Kitty wallpaper” – HDW http://hdw.eweb4.com/out/261729.html
piZap http://pizap.com/
Shaniya’s pictures by myself, Alia and Anjali.