Authorities at the Asahikawa Prison think people have a glum view of their facility, and they want to change that.
A Japanese prison housing a range of convicted criminals has unveiled a cuddly life-size mascot that bosses hope will help change the jail's forbidding image.
Officials say Asahikawa Prison in Japan's far north is too often thought of only as a dark place with imposing grey walls and not as a place of rehabilitation.
They hope "Katakkuri-chan", a nearly two-meter (6ft, 6ins) humanoid with a huge square face and an enormous purple flower for hair, will make people understand the true nature of the institution.
A prison spokesperson said the goal is to make the prison seem "open to society." Picture of the mascot below: