image originally found at Randy’s Bamboo Room blog
What a fantastic character – so of the era! He’s ‘Uncle Torys’, a real good time guy, designed by Ryohei Yanagihara back in the 50s to advertise Suntory Whisky. This is his dapper gent persona, but he can also be found parading as a Wild West outlaw, bedecked in a loud Hawaiian shirt, golfing attire and even martial arts garb!
There are lots of different little Uncle Tory figures to collect. Here’s a Flickr group paying homage to the designer. And there are a few vintage TV ads staring Uncle Torys to be found on YouTube – here are a few!