Here’s a video of yesterday’s Kumamoto Chara Fes Funassyi appearance. He donates the proceeds of his two Nassyi Fes concerts to a fund dedicated to Kumamoto Castle reconstruction to Mayor Onishi of Kumamoto City; Kapal also donates the funds collected at a chara concert in July. Mayo Onishi even says “arigato nassyi~!!” in a voice so close to Funassyi’s (around the 9:45mark) that for a moment I thought it was the Pear speaking. Also, Kumamon gets a bit pearsonal with Funassyi’s puriketsu (bubble butt) around 21:45 ^_^;
The video is by the always reliable Nappi-san aka Teruo Nagano.
Funassyi presented Mayor Kazufumi Onishi of Kumamoto City (they’re pictured together in the top photo - the mayor is the one on the left) with a donation to aid earthquake recovery efforts, representing all the out-of-town gotouchi chara assembled in Kumamoto for the Kumamoto Chara Fes today. The mayor’s office tweeted the photos above, with the message arigato nassyi- (^-^)/
Funassyi posted these photos of Kumamoto Castle, which suffered heavy damage in the April 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake. He remarks how beautiful it is despite the damage and hopes it will become genki* soon, and how it’s hanging on bravely (the latter comment was made about the first photo, which shows how precarious the stone foundations are).
He’s in Kumamoto City today to appear at the Kumamoto Chara Fes alone with his paisen** Kumamon; proceeds will go towards earthquake relief.
* - genki 元気: to be healthy and happy and positive
** - paisen パイセン: A slang word that reverses the proper word senpai 先輩, but means the same thing really - a superior, a mentor etc.
Promotional material for the Funassyi Happy Set (Happy Meal) toys at McDonalds started appearing yesterday. The top image is for 110 yen off coupons, with Funassyi dressed in McDo uniforms. The second image shows the schedule - 4 of the 8 toys will be available on the first week from September 16th, and the other 4 on the next week from September 23rd. The last image shows the toys again (the Funa-Ronald (called Donald in Japan for some reason) one looks better than I thought - that tummy!) as well as the adorable boxes the Happy Sets/Meals come in too, plus a 3-day (Sep. 17-19) sticker giveaway. Why does this Pear have to be so cute??
Entrée (pronounced An-to-reh), a local pastry shop in Funabashi, has been making a version of a special cake called “Funassyi’s Bath Time: Pear Bath Bushaa!! (ふなっしーのバスタイム なし風呂でブシャー！！)” since 2014. It’s back again this year for a limited time from the second week of September until the end of the local nashi pear season. Funassyi’s body is made of apricot mousse dusted with a fine sweet powder and sporting a kiwi-leaf, and the bath is made of Funabashi nashi pear compote and western pear sponge cake. Each one is handmade, so only 20 to 30 will be available per day. Price: 1,000 yen.
Funassyi has worked with the chef-owner of Entrée, Yasuhiro Takagi, before, and even appeared on a TV show with him.
Entrée is located near the Kaijin train station on the Keisei line. 5% of the proceeds of sales from the Pear Bath Bushaa! cake will be donated to the Michinoku Mirai Fund, Funassyi’s favorite charity.
Incidentally, Funassyi Pear Bath Bushaa!! cake has changed over the years. This is how it looked in 2014:
…and this is how it looked in 2015 (rather bald and plain):
Funassyi attributes this to cosmetic surgery (or actually he mentions a certain cosmetic surgery clinic that advertises heavily on TV, Takasu Clinic.)
Gigazine has one of their very detailed reports on everything leading up to the actual Nassyi Fes concert at Budokan, with tons and tons of pictures, covering everything from the fans waiting in line, curious foreign tourists asking what everyone was lining up for, the insanely cute capsules for Funassyi’s capsule toys (gachagacha, shown above) that were on sale at the venue, the pre-concert press conference, and much more. The concert itself is described relatively briefly with just a few photos (probably due to copyright issues and such) but there’s still quite a lot of detail . Even if you can’t read the text, you can enjoy the photos.
There’s a great “Making Of” video on the new Funassyi Calendar site (previously). It is full of Japanese cultural references though, so here’s a quick explanation of what’s going on. They show the shoots for the first six months.
January: Funassyi is doing a kakizome (書き初め) or ‘first writing’ of the new year, where you are supposed to write out, preferably with a brush as he does here (the plastic body protector is optional) a meaningful phrase for the year. Here Funassyi writes out 梨飛 - “A pear (can) fly”, and insists that it is to be read as Nappi-. He also has a photo shoot with some chickens (he’s dressed in formal montsuki hakama), since 2017 is the year of the rooster.
February: In the first part, Funassyi and Funagoro are posing with ehou maki or ‘good luck direction’ long sushi rolls. This is a Kansai region tradition which has spread around the country in recent years thanks to the concerted efforts of convenience stores to get another ‘must-buy something’ occasion going. (Here’s an article I wrote years ago with more about this tradition, plus how to make your own ehou maki). The lucky direction in 2017 is north-north-west by the way - or around 11:30 if you think of the compass as an analog clock.
In the second part, Funassyi is dressed up as an oni (鬼), a kind of ogre that appears a lot in Japanese folklore, and the three Pears are playing mamemaki (豆まき) or ‘bean-throwing’, a ritual that occurs on Setsubun, the first day of spring. (I wrote about mamemaki and Setsubun for the Japan Times some years ago, but it’s disappeared from their archives - fortunately (I guess?) someone has copied the article in its entirety.) The can-can dance is not very traditionally Japanese.
March: The theme is ohanami (お花見), cherry blossom viewing. Funassyi plays the part of a typical drunk salaryman - getting drunk during ohanami is well, very traditional I guess - complete with a bottle of sake and bad attitude. The two small Pears manage to revive him enough for another line dance though; note how Funyassyi thoughtfully gets rid of the sake bottle. Then Funagoro engages in a bit of taiko (太鼓) drumming, which is not that specific to March but is traditional.
April: April is the start of the new year for school as well as people who have just graduated from school and have started working. Funassyi is acting out the shinseikatsu (新生活) of a newly minted graduate in his starter apartment. He attempts to eat breakfast, and also lies down because his new life is so exhausting.
May: It’s spring, so the theme is baseball (the season starts in April). For some reason Funagoro and Funyassyi engage in a small tussle before the actual shoot. Later on, Funyassyi as the umpire strikes a manji (卍) pose, which looks like a swastika but has an entirely different connotation in Japan of course.
June: Another not-so-traditional theme - they’re in a fantasy forest, with Funassyi dressed as a fairy (I love Funassyi in girly outfits). The three Pears eat mushrooms.
The video ends with a message that a portion of the sales proceeds from the calendars will go to the Michinoku Mirai Fund, Funassyi’s favorite NPO (non-profit organization), who gives scholarships to children who lost one or both guardians in the 2011 earthquake.
Details about the 2017 editions of the wall and desktop Funassyi calendars have been announced on a brand new dedicated website. The photos, which Funassyi has been posting regularly on his Twitter, were shot in a studio this time rather than outside, and involve Funagoro and Funyassyi along with the Main Pear.
The desktop calendar (bottom photo) is the same format as in previous years - a week per page, with a quote from Funassyi at the bottom. The wall calendar (top and middle photos) is different this time - it’s smaller (A2 size) and is spiral bound so that you don’t need to rip off the page each month, with the bottom part having space to write in (the middle photo shows an example page) rather than a big photo with just the dates. If you use a calendar for keeping your schedule this is good news - although if you’re like me and keep your schedule electronically, the smaller photo is kind of a loss (the photo part is just A3 size, vs. the big poster size of previous years). I’m still going to get both though - the pictures look adorable.
The wall calendar will retail for 2,500 yen plus tax, and the desktop calendar for 2,200 yen plus tax. They can be preordered on the Funassyiland web store starting on September 3rd, with delivery scheduled for early October. They’ll be in the physical Funassyiland stores on October 1st, and in bookstores nationwide (including Amazon I’m guessing) in the first half of October. If you buy the calendars at the Funassyiland stores, online or physical, you get a bonus gift of a special Funassyi (and Funagoro and Funyassyi) -design tenugui (a thin cotton hand towel).
There’s also a “making of” video on the calendar site…I’ll have more about that in a later post.
Funassyi and some of his friends at Osaka Jo Hall. Back row, from left to right: Sunplaza Nakano-kun; Aicchy; Chicchai Ossan; Pokota (official LINE chara); Iisa King; Mayu Oneisan (Mayu Ito). Front row from left to right: Kappa no Kotaro; Koakkuma; Funagoro; Funassyi; Funyassyi; Akkuma.
The Nassyi Fes concert at Budokan which took place last week will be shown on the BS Sukapaa (BSスカパー) premium channel around the end of October - early November. This means that overseas fans will not be able to see it unfortunately, but if you live in Japan and missed out on the Nassyi Fes concerts live, keep an eye out on the TV schedule. (I will too, of course, and post any updates here.)
Funassyi is in Osaka, getting ready for his Osaka Jo Hall concert tonight. The announced guest lineup is as follows - some unannounced ‘surprise guests’ will show up too, as at Budokan last week. *Starred guests were at Budokan too.
- Toshiko Takamizawa from The Alfee*
- Sanpuraza (Sun Plaza) Nakano-kun
- Shigeo Takahashi from the comedy due Sabanna (or Savannah)
- Mayu Ito*
And the following gotouchi chara:
- Chicchai Ossan*
- Iisa King
- Koakkuma and Akkuma
…plus of course, Funagoro and Funyassyi.
The MC will be Aicchy (Ai Yokoyama) again.
Osaka Jo Hall is bigger than Budokan, so the staging may be different. Several nashitomo who went to Budokan are going to the Osaka Jo Hall show too.
Some same-day tickets are still available - just go to the same day ticket sales booth by 17:00. (Info source: Sacocci)
Andy and Cindy are diehard Funassyi fans in Hong Kong. Andy posted these photos of their amazing customized Suzuki Hustler in our Funassyi Facebook fan group. The car has been completely redone in a Funa Metal Rock theme - even the roof! The interior has been customized too; the accessories fit the theme perfectly, and 90cm Funassyi looks very comfortable up front.
Many thanks to Andy for giving permission to post his photos!