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Japanese companies, sports teams and government departments tend to use mascots to promote all kinds of weird stuff. Now, in the age of coronavirus, a 19th century "anti-plague demon" from Japanese folklore has been reborn as a mascot in the fight against the coronavirus.
It's even being used to help sell a new healthy type of dessert loaded with vitamin C. It'll hardly keep you safe from COVID-19, but it might help ward off a cold.
The mascot in question: A humanoid fish "yokai" ("demon" or "spirit") named "Amabie".
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the demon Amabie has been making an appearance all over Japan, in many different forms. Amabie has reemerged as a mascot and internet meme used by artists, chefs and even the Japan's Health Ministry as a symbol of hope to fight COVID-19.
Now Amabie is trying to get you to snack on "healthy" pudding from the Japanese company Nakauraya. The pudding is made in layers with yuzu citrus fruit jelly, and is apparently packed with vitamin C.
The pudding label art is a "lovely illustration so that you can feel relieved; we made it with the hope that you can regain your normal life as soon as possible," according to the Nakauraya website.
Feeling extra adventurous? Add another Japanese delicacy to your Amabie pudding — try dried murder hornets on as a topping.