We’re big fans of Gunma-chan around here, our Prefecture’s horsey little mascot. He’s a pretty cute pony, and may in fact be cuter than any other mascot in Japan. In fact, there is a huge Japan-wide competition right now to decide this very fact, and Gunma-chan needs your help!
All you have to do is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “243” (no quotation marks.) That’s it! You can do it once a day up until November 26th, when the Japan’s ultimate mascot will be determined. DO IT.
Gunma-chan has advanced from #24 to #20 over the weekend, and if he gets to the top, or even the top 10, I hereby declare that we will have an epic Gunma-chan Giveaway! How can you say no to Gunma-chan?
And just look at Number 2. An egg shaped bird named Mr. Bary, who wears a tiara and likes to stick a battleship into his bellyband? Is this character based on a bald old man with Alzheimer’s? How is that cute?
Some of these characters are really bonkers. What’s up with the Crying Chicken? I didn’t realize that was supposed to be tasty wheat at first–I thought perhaps little えべチュン , Ebechun, had been caught with his pants down, and that was why he was crying. Not cute, Hokkaido.
The weirdest one of all, in my opinion, actually hails from Gunma itself. I had no idea this character existed, and I’m not sure I ever want to see him in person. Mojaro is the mascot of Isesaki’s もんじゃ festival.
もんじゃ焼き, or monjayaki is a delicious cousin of okonomiyaki. It’s grilled at the table like okonomiyaki, but is much less structurally sound, and often looks runny and sticky.
In fact, we often make jokes about its unfortunate appearance, and I’m surprised that anyone thought to make it into a mascot. It looks quite accurate, and unfortunately that means it rather looks like a puddle of puke. Ew. Seriously. Gross.
So, yes. Vote for Gunma-chan!