Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.  

Meet Chojin Neiger. Unlike other heroes who spend their time battling foes, Neiger is often found farming, not fighting.

Japan is filled with cute, local characters. But Chojin Neiger, who takes his look from Power Rangers style heroes, is a bit different! He protects Akita Prefecture, working in the rice paddies. When he’s not doing that, he’s meeting with kids and doing his part to promote Akita.

Chojin Neiger (or “Super God Neiger”) is inspired by the ogre Namahage, who, according to folklore, goes around an area in Akita during New Year’s asking, “Are there bad children around?” (悪い子はいねえか? or “Waruiko wa ineeka?”). The hero takes his name “Neiger” from the Japanese “ineeka.” While Chojin Neiger might seem unusual, this local hero is a fascinating mix of traditional folklore and modern sensibilities in a clever and playful way.

[Photo: Chojin Neiger]

Advertisement

[Photo: Chojin Neiger]

[Photo: Chojin Neiger]

Advertisement

[Photo: Chojin Neiger]

[Photo: Chojin Neiger]

Advertisement

[Photo: Chojin Neiger]

Here, local character Kumamon drops by to say “hi.”

Advertisement

[Photo: Chojin Neiger]

Sometimes, Neiger is joined by his friend, Neiger Geon, a superhero who protects Akita’s trees and forests.

Advertisement

[Photo: Chojin Neiger]

[Photo: Chojin Neiger]

Advertisement

[Photo: Chojin Neiger]

[Photo: Chojin Neiger]

Advertisement

[Photo: Chojin Neiger]

The character has spawned songs, merchandise, and comic books—as well as other local superheroes. According to Asahi News, after Chojin Neiger debuted in the mid-00s, other prefectures and towns created their own local superheroes.

Advertisement

[Photo: Chojin Neiger]

But how many of them look this badass in a tractor?

Advertisement

[Photo: Chojin Neiger]

Or while holding an umbrella and a plastic bag? None!

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter@Brian_Ashcraft.

Advertisement


Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.