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Gunma-chan, Gunma Prefecture’s regional mascot, or yuru-kyara, may not have the most creative name. The cap-wearing horse more than makes up for that shortcoming with cuteness, though, and was recently named the winner of the nationwide Yuru-Kyara Grand Prix popularity contest.

The championship is the culmination of a long campaign for Gunma-chan, who finished in 18th place in 2011, before spending two years stalled in the number three spot.

Having now reached the top of the yuru-kyara world, it’s time for Gunma-chan to savor the sweet taste of victory, and time for everyone else to savor the sweet taste of Gunma-chan candy.

Funasada, a confectioner based in Gunma Prefecture’s Kiryu City with a history of over 80 years, is celebrating the mascot’s win with two different types of Gunma-chan candies.

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Both fall into the class called jounamagashi, which consists of high-class unbaked sweets. Made from rice flour and smooth koshian red bean paste, they’re sure to taste as sweet as they look.

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Since Gunma Prefecture is known for its cabbage, particularly those grown in the Tsumagoi Kougen district, the first of the two candy varieties features Gunma-chan wrapped in a confectionary recreation of the leafy vegetable.

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Gunma-chan’s yuru-kyara championship isn’t the only feather in the prefecture’s cap this year, either. In June, Gunma’s Tomioka Silk Mill became Japan’s 18th UNESCO World Heritage Site. Funasada has decided to commemorate the two honors at once with a second candy in which Gunma-chan is holding a silkworm cocoon.

▼ Which, just like the cabbage above, is actually candy, thankfully.

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The cabbage version costs 420 yen (US $3.70), while the cocoon-type is just a bit pricier at 500 yen ($4.36). Both look so much like Gunma’s adorable mascot that it’s hard to feel any anger or malice while staring at them, although all of that negativity is likely to be replaced by hunger. If a trip to Gunma Prefecture isn’t in your immediate future, you can also order them directly by contacting Funasada through the company’s website here.

Oh, and don’t worry about the calories, since Gunma-chan will be only too happy to help you dance them away.

Source, images: Funasada
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