That’s a pretty popular horse.

There seems to be a mascot for almost everything in Japan–including train gap monsters–and besides looking cute, some of them can be pretty profitable. Gunma Prefecture’s Gunma-chan, an adorable horse character, is one of these. In the last year alone, all things Gunma-chan related were estimated to bring in 71.3 billion yen (around US$51.3 million) in revenue.

Gunma Prefecture has amped up its PR in the last few years, developing the Gunma-chan brand even further. A few ways this has been done is through social media platforms like TikTok, as well as more traditional media, like the Gunma-chan anime that aired on Japanese TV.

▼ Some episodes are available on YouTube as well.

And of course, there are all sorts of physical Gunma-chan goods available for purchase at sightseeing locations across Gunma–and at the occasional non-Gunma location as well. You can find Gunma-chan keychains, plushies, and snacks galore. The character also appears in real life from time to time at places like prefectural events.

▼ Gunma-chan also stans PewDiePie.

Gunma-chan’s fame does not come without occasional controversy, though. Some episodes of the Gunma-chan anime were actually pulled from airing due to viewer complaints, including one about horse racing that some suspect was trying to promote gambling.

All in all, though, the Gunma-chan brand seems to be a profitable one for the prefecture, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. If you stop by Gunma Prefecture, keep an eye out for Gunma-chan–though we don’t think you’ll have a hard time finding it.

Sources: NHK via Golden Times, Twitter/@nhk_news
Top image: YouTube/tsulunos
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!