Kigurumi is the Japanese name for costumed performers who represent cartoon characters, often animals. The name comes from the Japanese verb kiru (to wear) and noun nuigurumi (stuffed toy).
These performers appear at shopping malls, theme parks, and anime conventions. The costumed characters found in theme parks, such as Disneyland, on children's TV shows such as Barney and Friends, Teletubbies and Bananas in Pyjamas, and roaming the sidelines of sports events as mascots are also included in the Japanese term kigurumi.
Frequently, their appearance serves a festive promotional purpose, and they are often used to entertain audiences of children.
See also: Kigurumin, animal-style pajamas worn in Japanese street fashion