Japan has a well documented fondness for mascots. Whether they be the sometimes bizarre poop-shaped characters used in promotional campaigns for snacks, or the "yuru" (gentle) mascot characters that represent local prefectures and towns and even have a national contest, Japan loves to give places and items a cute and kawaii avatar for all to love. So it should come as no surprise that some of these mascots get celebrity treatment when they make their public appearances, which is exactly what happened to Hikonyan, a Japanese mascot who got a hairbrush grooming and polite bow from an event staff.

Regional mascots in particular usually boast some prefectural or local flavoring in their aesthetic to go along with their cuteness. Hikonyan is no different. Hikonyan's name is a combination of "Hiko", for Shiga prefecture's Hikone Castle and "nyan", which is the Japanese equivalent of "meow". Atop Hikonyan's head is a kabuto helmet much like the one worn by Japanese daimyo Ii Naokatsu, who was responsible for the castle's completion. To tie things all together, an old legend claims that a cat once saved Naokatsu from being struck by lighting!

Perhaps that is why Hikonyan is getting such royal treatment in this video posted by Japanese Twitter user @ps_ps_passero, which appears to be at a public appearance at the actual Hikone Castle. A staff member gives Hikonyan, who patiently and cutely flexes his paws, a public grooming and then wins over the crowd with a reciprocated bow that's too adorable for words:

By - grape Japan editorial staff.