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Photo Journal: Hats off to panda mania

Giant panda straw hats are seen in the "Tanaka Hat Shop" factory in the city of Kasukabe, Saitama Prefecture, in this recent photo. The hats, sewn by craftspeople, were inspired by the popularity of giant panda cub Xiang Xiang at Ueno Zoological Gardens in Tokyo. The factory produces about 20,000 hats a year. According to the factory, straw hats are popular not only as fashion items but also for their practicality, as they last four to five years. The hats range in price from 5,000 yen to around 10,000 yen, with the company's giant panda straw hat costing 5,500 yen, excluding tax. (Mainichi)

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