In Japan, the big annual cleaning period (oh-souji or ō-sōji, 大掃除) is at the end of the year rather than in the spring as it is in the west. The idea is to get rid of all the old dirt and debris from the old year and start afresh in the new year. Ahead of this year’s year-end big clean, Domestos (Unilever Japan) has just released its second Funassyi video, following up on the surreal masterpiece that was posted in May.
Funassyi appears in double again, with Suit no. 3 as the chipper boss and Suit no. 1 as his silent and fairly useless assistant (see Funassyi’s Multiple Pear Suits) as they clean up the Pear Hut - or as the caption says, the Pear Palace.
- In the first scene, Funassyi No. 3 is dusting with a pink duster, while No. 1 beats a futon to get rid of the accumulated dust in it - something you really shouldn’t do in a small, closed space of course. No. 3 yells at No. 1 and slaps him with the duster, telling him that he should do that outside.
- In the second scene, No. 3 enters the Showa-period-retro toilet room that appeared in the first Domestos video with a Domestos bottle in hand to disinfect things. It’s a really tight fit though…
- In the third scene, No. 3 is busy cleaning the kitchen - again, a very retro looking one - with some Jif cleanser (known as Cif or Jif, depending on the market), while No. 1 lounges on a chair, spitting out PET bottle after PET bottle from his Illusion (the infamous back zipper). No. 3 notices what No. 1 is doing and scolds him about littering.
- In the fourth scene, No. 3 says cheerfully, “Let’s clean!” and starts sweeping the floor with a broom. But No. 1 scatters trash everywhere, much to the chagrin of No. 3, finally breaking open a cracker and strewing streamers all over the place. Bushaa!
Funassyi also did an in-store talk show for Domestos and Jif back in June at Aeon Funabashi back in June.
A preview of next Monday’s Nepu League quiz show aired during the November 9th episode. It seems Funassyi will be on the kuro-nin (a kuro-nin - 苦労人 - is someone who has experienced hardships, or made it through hard work, etc.) team vs the “elite Tokyo university graduates and beautiful female intellectuals” team. Funassyi always does very well on Nepu League - he’s really good with history and Japanese questions, and does okay with English too.
If you are passing through Terminal 1 (the terminal used by most international airlines) of Narita Airport, be sure to stop by Kumu or Kuumu (空夢), a store that sells Chiba prefecture merchandise. The Cabin Attendant Funassyi mascot doll pictured above (more details here) is available there. Kumu is on the 5th floor of the Central Wing of Terminal 1. (While you’re there, if you don’t see as much Funassyi merch as you like, ask the shop attendants why! Maybe they’ll get the message they should stock more because Funassyi’s international fans demand it! ^_^ The last time I was there they had none at all, although they had lots of official mascot merchandise like Chiiba-kun and Unari-kun.)
If you’re unable to go to Narita, Cabin Attendant Funassyi is also available online from the Wakin Rakuten store.
Photo and info via Rapiit (the makers of Cabin Attendant Funassyi).
The brochure published by the Funabashi government to encourage people to apply for daycare childcare worker positions in the city that uses Funassyi’s image, was featured on a TV news report on FNN (Fuji TV) this evening (November 9th) about the nationwide ‘daycare waitlist’ problem, where children are unable to get into daycare because all the facilities are full. The report said that daycare workers, called hoikushi, have to work very long hours, can rarely take vacation days even though they are entitled to them, and are paid low wages. The Funassyi brochure, besides luring people in with the cuteness of Funassyi, offers monetary incentives such as housing cost assistance, additional wages paid from the city on top of the salary paid by the daycare facilities, and student loans for people studying for daycare worker qualification tests. Funabashi has the second worst ‘daycare waitlist’ problem in the nation. (Details on the Funassyi brochure itself are in this post.)
Video of the news report with the story (in Japanese) on FNN site
Some screenshots from the new Everyday Funassyi app for au Smart Pass subscribers. It seems that the app has been so popular that they’ve run into some connectivity and system issues, but fans seem to be so thrilled with the cuteness overload that they’re willing to be patient. From the top:
- November calendar
- Funassyi being shipped off (with other pears presumably) and crying Help me!
- Funassyi sitting in formal seiza position to help his concntration
- Buna’s Boot Camp (a parody of the Billy’s Boot Camp of workout videos by Billy Blanks, which were a huge hit in Japan some years ago) with tae bo (or buna bo? tae funa?) instructor Funassyi yelling ONE MORE SET!
- Funassyi in his futon, saying oyasumi nassyi~ (good night nassyi).
Funassyi with unicyclist and tarento Ayaka Sato at Fuji TV studios. Funassyi was taping an episode of Nepu League, the quiz show that Funassyi appears on quite often. He tweeted that the episode will air on November 16th. (I’m not sure if Sato is appearing on the same show, or if they just ran into each other in the hallway or something.)
Funassyi seems to have a fuzzy pink wool cap on his head leaf…although it kind of looks like a weird middle finger. ^_^ (However, ‘middle finger upheld’ is not a rude gesture in Japan.)
Photo via Ayaka Sato’s Twitter.
Kumamon bear hugs Funassyi.
Via The Pear, who calls Kumaon “Paisen” (which is like a slang version of senpai).
“So…want to go get some drinks after this?”
From left to right: Mukku, Funassyi, Gachapin, Chicchai Ossan.
Via The Pear.
I have seen some people around the internets questioning why yesterday’s tsunami preparedness awareness event was held in Tokyo (with implied criticism of Prime Minister Abe), rather than somewhere in the Tohoku region that was devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. And previously, I wondered myself why Shinjo-kun and Kiichan (pictured above on the left and right of the line), two gotouchi chara that are not as well known as Funassyi, Kumamon and Chicchai Ossan (see edit below regarding Chicchai Ossan), were selected to be part of the core team. It turns out there’s a good reason for the latter, which helps to explain the former too.
Earthquakes can and do happen almost anywhere in Japan, and the next “big one” is predicted by many experts to occur in the Nankai zone of the Nankai megathrust. The last time a large earthquake occured in this area was in 1946, so it is thought that another one is ‘due’. Both Shinjo-kun’s home prefecture of Kochi on the island of Shikoku and Kiichan’s home prefecture of Wakayama are in this region, which is why they were selected to be members of this core awareness team. And since the campaign is to raise awareness for future earthquakes and tsunami nationwide, it makes sense to hold it in the capital, Tokyo.
ETA: Hyogo prefecture, where Chicchai Ossan is from, is also in the Nankai zone. So essentially the original team is made up of 3 gotouchi chara from the Nankai zone, plus the two most nationally popular gotouchi chara.
I was just wondering.. Funassyi's current pear suit seems really worn out now and on the verge of becoming very pale blue and yellow. I wonder if he should invest in a new pear suit? Would it cost too much, delay his activities, or even cause a little con
Everyday Funassyi is a new free iOS and Android app that is available exclusively to subscribers to au Smart Pass from KDDI, one of the major mobile carriers in Japan. au Smart Pass gives unlimited access to the web and apps for 372 yen a month and a fast growing offering from the carrier. Everyday Funassyi contains mini-games, a calendar function, personality tests and the like, and will also periodically feature events and giveaways.
One more video of the tsunami preparedness awareness event - this one is from Kyodo News Service. It’s notable mainly because near the end, when everyone is doing the fist-raised pose, Funassyi remarks that the pose is a bit hard on the back, and tells Prime Minister Abe to be careful. ^_^;
(Funassyi’s actual comment was “殺気！(。;゜▽゜)！” - 殺気 (sakki) means a menacing, even murderous, presence or atmosphere… ^_^;)
Video of today’s tsunami preparation awareness event, held in Marunouchi, Tokyo. It was primarily a press event, but the public were allowed to watch too.
Prime Minister Abe and Taro Kono, a minister in the Cabinet Office who is in charge of natural disaster preparedness, introduce the campaign (that part has been mostly cut in this video), then Funassyi, Kumamon, Chicchai Ossan, Shinjo-kun and Kiichan, are introduced as the original members of the Tsunami Bousai Hirometai (津波防災ひろめ隊), a special team to promote tsunami prepardness and safety (the team was announced first back in September). Funassyi talks a bit about the program and asks people to visit the official site at http://tsunamibousai.jp/, and watch the video clips when they are shown in movie theaters and such to increase awareness of what to do when a tsunami strikes.
After Abe and Kono leave, Chicchai Ossan and Funassyi talk a bit about the program, and then Gachapin, Mukku and two other chara arrive. Gachapin and Mukku are TV characters who have appeared in several kids’ programs over the years, mostly on the Fuji TV network. They’re best known for starring in a series where Gachapin tries all kinds of physical adventures. Funassyi has often been compared to Gachapin when he’s been in Adventurer Pear mode and gone skydiving, deep sea diving and so forth. Funassyi seems to be quite thrilled to meet his “senpai” Gachapin. The other two characters are quite minor - the dog is the official character for the building they’re in, and the panda is the official character for the TV Asahi network.
- Marunouchi is the financial district of Tokyo, located between Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace. The building where the event took place, Marubiru, is a big office and shopping complex - which is why you see both excited looking fans as well as people passing through who look like they couldn’t care less about what’s going on.
- Gachapin and Mukku are talking characters, but their voices actually come from elsewhere, not from within the suits - the talking is done by voice actors out of view (in a studio situation they’re in another booth; for live-action stuff they’re dubbed in later). This is in contrast to Funassyi and Chicchai Ossan, where the inner…I mean, they speak for themselves. ^_^.
Some photos from today’s tsunami preparedness and safety awareness press event in Marunouchi, Tokyo. The salute that Funassyi, Kumamon, Chicchai Ossan, Prime Minister Abe and others are doing is the Tsunami Dendenko pose, which basically means “if a tsunami is coming, go as quickly as possible to a high place”. Today, November 5th, is designated as Tsunami Preparedness Day.
During his Tokyo German Village stage shows, Funassyi mentioned 1970s-80s pop singer Kenji Sawada, aka Julie, several times, saying his hat made him look like Sawada. The Vine clip here shows Funassyi doing his version of a bit from a Kenji Sawada song called Katte ni Shiyagare (勝手にしやがれ - Do Whatever You Want).
Here’s Sawada himself wearing his trademark hat, performing the song in 1977. The “aa-ah, aa-ah” part that Funassyi is attempting to sing starts around 2:25. In his heyday, Julie was the epitome of cool.
The fact that Funassyi even knows about Kenji Sawada so well though reaffirms my belief that the Inner Funassyi is well, not that young. ^_^; Aicchy mentioned that singer Kenji Sawada is “before her time” (younger generations may know him better as an actor), and according to Wikipedia she was born in 1982…so it’s very likely that Funassyi is at least a few years older.
Of course, Funassyi is officially 1877 years old… ^_^
Funassyi, Kumamon and other gotouchi chara will be appearing at a press event on Thursday, November 5th at 13:00 in Marunouchi, Tokyo to promote tsunami preparedness and safety again as members of the Tsunami Bousai Hirometai (津波防災ひろめ隊). Prime Minister Abe is scheduled to be there too, and new members of the team such as venerable adventure-character Gachapin will be introduced. The photo above is from the inaugural Tsunami Bousai Hirometai event back in September.
Source: Government press release (PDF, Japanese)
Funassyi and his fans at Tokyo German Village.
Funassyi quoted from the Funafuna Biyori anime series in his tweet accompanying this image:
Dear Nashigami-sama (Pear God): Funassyi is loved by everyone in the human world, and is so happy nassyi!
Via the Pear.