Anime and manga are billion dollar industries and super cute cartoons are used to market everything from green tea to bullet trains. But it is not just the private sector generating all those lovable characters. The Japanese Government is obsessed with cartoons.
Each of Japan's 47 prefectures have cute cartoon mascots. Prefectures are broken up into numerous city governments and each of these usually has a cartoon mascot of its own. Additionally, departments and services such as the police often have their own mascots. The federal government has also gotten into the act with lovable characters promoting Japan Post or recruiting for the military.
This government adoption of cartoon characters seem innocuous enough but can get a little confusing when it comes to public service messages such as warning signs. Warning signs in Japan are usually so cute that they don't look like warnings at all. This is especially dangerous for foreigners who can not read Japanese. So travelers to Japan beware: that cute bunny on the sign ahead of you may be trying to tell you something.
Beware of train zombies.
Don't feed the bears. Understandable enough except that it is posted in central Tokyo.
Beware of ass starting on fire.
Cute deers trying their hardest to look menacing.
Beware of creepy perverts
Time to panic!
Beware of bridge fairies
Looks like fun
Okay, admittedly some signs in Japan are actually fairly scary looking. These traffic warnings are good examples.