A notorious Japanese prison has unveiled a cuddly mascot in an attempt to soften its hardline image. The mascot "Katakkuri-chan" is a 6-foot, 6-inch mascot with a purple flower for a head and dressed in a prison guard's uniform. The prison is hoping that the mascot will bring the surrounding community closer to the feared establishment.

Katakkuri-chan was unveiled at a 'weekend fair' at the prison which is located around 500 miles north of the capital Tokyo.

I don't care if the mascot was Sponge Bob, Tinkerbell or Harry Potter, I don't think you can really 'soften' a prison's image (and why would you?) Plus this new mascot creeps me out! I'd rather see a dozen guards in riot gear that this freaky thing walking through my neighborhood.