The evolution of Funassyi, part 8:
The summer of 2012 was a difficult time for Funassyi. In July he went to Funabashi City Hall to request formal recognition, or a letter of recommendation at least, so that he could participate in the Yuru-Chara Summit to be held at Hanyu, Saitama in November. However, he was given the run-around and was unable to get anywhere with city hall. He wasn’t even able to get permission to appear at the Funabashi Citizen’s Festival, held every July, so he went there on his own anyway. In August he again gate-crashed an event promoting Funabashi held in Tokyo Station, where apparently the then-mayor of Funabashi did not at seem at all pleased to see the yellow pear fairy.
Things started looking up for Funassyi in September, when he was invited to partcipate in a festival commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Shinsekai district of Osaka. He was there as one of the 100 yuru-chara friends of Kushitan, the official yuru-chara of Shinseikai (a mascot representing a fried pork cutlet skewer). The rare video here shows the yuru-chara assembled to take photos in small groups. Funassyi is very much just one of the crowd, although his quick athletic movements are already eliciting oohs and aahs from the crowd.
Pay attention to Kumamon’s entrance at the beginning of the video. As the undisputed king of the yuru-chara world in 2012, he comes in with the presence and attitude of a yokozuna (a sumo grand champion).
Whenever I have occasion to encounter a totally different reaction or opinion of something, or someone, from my own. I always think of a scene in one of my favorite books growing up, The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis - one of the books in the Chronicles of Narnia. The two children from our world, Jill and Eustace, that are the stars of this episode in the Narnia series, are eating venison for dinner in a Northern giant's castle with their guide and comrade, Puddleglum the Marshwiggle. Suddenly Puddleglum drops his fork and turns pale, and whispers to the children "Don't eat this meat anymore." He overheard two giants talking to each other about the deer they killed, and how it had said to them "Don't kill me, I won't taste that good." Jill and Eustace both stop eating of course, but their reactions are different. This is Jill's first time in Narnia and she's never met a talking deer, so she feels sorry for the deer, not much more. Eustace has been in this world before and has formed strong friendships with other talking animals from Narnia, so he feels horrified as if he's witnessed a murder. But Puddleglum is a Narnian; to him, talking animals are the same as humans or gnomes or Marshwiggles. So he feels physically sick and disgusted with himself, as we might feel if we found out we had unknowingly eaten a human baby.
Whenever someone is having a very different response to something, and you don't understand it, I think it's important to remember that where they come from and what they have internalized as part of their humanity may be very different from you. You may not understand it, but you can at least show respect for it.
Funassyi dressed as a flower fairy in front of his fans at the pre-opening of the Funnasyiland store in the Lalaport Tokyo Bay shopping center, Funabashi on March 6, 2015.
Hi there! If you have a couple of seconds: Go to the Yahoo! Japan home page, and type "3.11" (without the quotes) in the search box at the top of the page. Every time someone searches for 3.11 today, Yahoo! Japan will donate 10 yen towards the continuing recovery efforts after the March 11, 2011 earthquake.
Thank you! ^_^
The evolution of Funassyi, part 7:
In June 2012, Funassyi made his first appearance at a real promotional event. The event is for Akachan Honpo, a nationwide baby goods store chain. Akachan Honpo invited 5,000 yuru-chara around the country to become “Store manager for a day” in 2012 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the company, and presented it as a yuru-chara relay. This day is important in the history of Funassyi, since this is where he first spoke. Most yuru-chara appear at events with an “atendo” or helper/attendant who speaks for them. Funassyi could not afford an “atendo”, so when the MC of the event asked him to introduce himself, he said “[I’m] Funassyi nasshi!” (Source)
On the page promoting this event you can see Funassyi listed for June 30th at the Makuhari Ito Yokado, a large supermarket in Chiba City. (He’s still using his original character illustration.) The page includes a few other yuru-chara that are still fairly well known, such as Gunmachan, Fukkachan, Hustle Komon and Barysan.
While no video of Funassyi’s event seem to exist anymore, the video below of the last day of the Akachan Honpo yuru-chara relay event shows how it might have been like. (There’s an air of pathos, but maybe that’s just me….)
Note that Funassyi’s event was not in Funabashi — it was in Makuhari in nearby Chiba City. Because of issues involving his unofficial status as a Funabashi mascot, it will remain difficult for him to appear at events within his home town for several months.
We Love Funassyi — One of the most sought-after Funassyi products is...
One of the most sought-after Funassyi products is Bunshin Funassyi (Funassyi’s Alter Ego), a small, rather flat Funassyi doll with a blue tunic that’s fitted on the doll, rather than being part of the...
One of the most sought-after Funassyi products is Bunshin Funassyi (Funassyi’s Alter Ego), a small, rather flat stuffed doll with a blue tunic that’s fitted on the doll, rather than being part of the body as is the case all the other Funassyi dolls. It is made by the ladies of the Minamisanriku Sewing Machine Workshop, which was set up after the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. As much as 95% of the town of Minamisanriku, which had a population of about 17,000, was destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami. The Workshop was created as a way for some of the survivors to make a living. Initially, it was not even a workshop - anyone who had a sewing machine and could sew would work on whatever piecework they could manage to get orders for.
Besides Funassyi’s Alter Ego, the Workshop also makes small bags, tissue cases, and such for Funassyi. Each item is made using individual sewing machines and hand assembled. Because of this, they are only available in small quantities, and are sold exclusively at Funassyi’s live events (the Workshop is also allowed to sell them for their own promotional events).
The Minamisanriku Sewing Machine Workshop started making Funassyi’s Alter Ego in April 2013. This came at a very opportune time for them; while e they received a lot of orders immediately after the earthquake, those orders had slowed down to a trickle by the time the Funassyi job came in.
The Workshop continues to make Funassyi’s Alter Ego (affectionally called “Funa-chan”) and other Funassyi products, They recently announced on their Facebook page that they were finally able to move into larger, more permanent facilities that was close to where most of the ladies lived (many still live in cramped temporary housing), and that they were able to obtain a brand new Brother embroidery machine to quickly embroider Funassyi’s facial features.
This is a video of a visit to the Minamisanriku Sewing Machine Workshop by a Funassyi fan in early August 2013. The first part shows how devastated the area still was at that time, more than 2 years after the earthquake.
To coincide with the opening of the flagship Funassyland store in the Lalaport Tokyo Bay shopping center, Kimukatsutei, a tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet) restaurant will be serving this Funassyi themed Kimukatsu Plate for a period of 3 months starting on March 13, 2015. It’s an omelette with tonkatsu (breaded fried pork cutlet) inside in the style of an omurice (rice-stuffed omelette), and was conceived by Funassyi himself. Price: 1200 yen.
Source: Kimukatsutei’s official Twitter
I saw a few news articles from around January talking about Funassyi and a "共演NGリスト" (co-star NG list?). I didn't really understand what they were saying, but there seemed to be a lot of defamatory words in them and talk about Funassyi becoming more arrog
The March 16, 2015 edition of Aera, a weekly magazine published by Asahi Shimbun (one of the leading newspapers in Japan) that came out on Monday in Japan, has a special feature on Funassyi. The image here is not the front cover of the magazine; it’s the cover of the Funassyi feature section. Note the date in the upper right corner is 27.4, and the issue number id 274 - which can be read as fu na shi.. (Funassyi uses 274 a lot.)
The evolution of Funassyi, part 6:
Funassyi posted this picture on his now-abandoned Google+ page on April 5, 2012. He states that he drew this image using Powerpoing objects. Note the small Funassyi in the bottom right corner - this is how the original Funassyi looked. This hand drawn looking version of Funassyi was used as his public avatar, such as on on this local chara (mascot) catalog site, in his early years.
Funassyi seems to have a fondness for both the hand-drawn Funassyi avatar and the Powerpoint illustration, since he still uses both on his official site and his Twitter page, although the spotty Funassyi has been replaced by the current sleek Funassyi in the illustration. (Of course it just could be that he’s too busy to replace the images…)
However...when looking for the article, I realized that it's been cited quite a bit, AND that half the citations spell my name wrong, even though it's spelled correctly in the byline! It's Itoh, NOT Ito. I feel pretty strongly about it because it's the spelling my late father chose when he first ventured out into the English speaking world. Itoh! Itoh!
Japan's traditional washoku cuisine feeds body and soul | The Japan Times
Whenever I am away from my homeland for too long, there is one meal that fills my dreams. At the center is a bowl of plain steamed rice, white and glisteni
Funassyi announces that he will be starring in a new short anime series, to start on March 30th, 2015. Titled “Funassyi no Funafunafu na Biyori” (ふなっしーのふなふなふな日和 - Funassyi’s Funafunafu Day), it will air Monday through Friday during the Sukkiri! morning news and entertainmnet show on Nippon TV (NTV or Nichitele). Funassyi will be one of the voice actors. The announcement was made today on the Sukkiri! program.
The evolution of Funassyi, part 5:
Funassyi’s first big break: Posted on June 5, 2012 and titled “Funassyi tries a diet!” (note: ‘diet’ is used to describe any kind of weight-loss activity, including exercise, in wasei eigo or imported-English Japanese.), this video shows Funassyi clumsily trying to get on a treadmill, with rather unfortunate results. Note the finger sticking out of his back zipper near the end… This video went moderately viral, and helped to bring attention to this weird new mobile yuru-chara. Funassyi is still not talking at this point.