Earlier this week former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe received the Olympic Order award for his work toward the (unfortunately postponed) Tokyo 2020 Olympics. There was another former Japanese prime minister at the event: Yoshiro Mori, who had convinced Abe to dress like Super Mario at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“At the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, former Prime Minster Abe dressed up as Super Mario and surprised the world,” said Mori. “In the world of the Super Mario games, Mario had a dependable partner named Yoshi. My name is Yoshiro, which contains ‘Yoshi.’ I hope Abe Mario and Mori Yoshi will continue to help each other while working hard with the IOC and other involved parties to make the Tokyo Olympics a success.”
While there was nothing but kindness in the statement, some Japanese otaku poked fun at the description, because Mario and Yoshi are not partners. In fact, Mario rides Yoshi around like a horse sometimes, and will even sacrifice the dinosaur to help himself. Which led to memes like this one:
SoraNews24, which reported the story, also found this response from a Japanese observer:
“Will Mori dress up as Yoshi? Now I’m really looking forward to the Olympics.”
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.