Photo/IllutrationRen-G is the official mascot of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, made up of father Ren, left, and his son named G. (Provided by the 2019 Rugby World Cup Organizing Committee)

  • Photo/Illustraion

"Kawaii" cuteness meets traditional Japanese culture in the official mascot design for the Japan-hosted 2019 Rugby World Cup, unveiled on Jan. 26 at Tokyo’s historic Meiji Kinenkan hall.

Father and son characters Ren and G are based on the "shishi" lion-like mythical creatures that can be seen all over Japan at shrine entrances, among other places, and their faces are shaped like rugby balls.

White-haired father Ren and red-headed son G, collectively named Ren-G, take their names from “Renjishi,” a classic Kabuki play about a lion and its cub.

The 2019 Rugby World Cup Organizing Committee aims to promote the event and increase revenue by selling Ren-G-themed goods.

“Creating a mascot was our long-term wish. It took about two years to develop its concept,” said Akira Shimazu, CEO of the organizing committee.

The 2019 Rugby World Cup will be the first hosted in Asia, and the first to have a mascot since 1999, when it was principally hosted by Wales and other surrounding countries also became venues.