Here are some photos from Day 2 of Funassyi and co. in Sapporo promoting Funabashi nashi pears. I believe these are all from the first event at the Mitsui Outet Park, which took place at 11AM; the 2nd event seems to have been quite similar (although I’ll post any interesting photos from that if I find any too).
Funassyi was there with Mayor Matsudo of Funabashi (1st photo) as well as the official mascot of Funabashi, Funaemon (2nd photo). Mayor Matsudo was busy distributing Ko-sui variety pears, a special kind that’s grown in the Funabashi area, wrapped in Funassyi-design wrappers. Funaemon seems to have been recognized and cheered by name a lot, probably due to all the exposure he gets when he’s appearing at events with Funassyi (Funaemon has Funassyi’s autograph hanging from his belt). Funassyi’s waiting in the wings in the 3rd photo, and then does his typical high-energy stage show. Funassyi also did a walkabout in the crowd, so some lucky fans got to see him very close up.
Funassyi’s Species Improvement Figures (Funassyi no hinshukairyou figyua - ふなっしーの品質改良フィギュア), a surreal Funassyi-themed collectible figure series from Bandai, went on sale today. Based on the 274 pear-fairy siblings of Funassyi created for the Funassyi’s Name Cards (Funassyi no Meissyi or Funassyi no Meissyi) collectible card series, each figure in the series (7 plus a “secret” one) depict a different character, and come in slices or sections that can be pulled apart. The idea is to then combine the sections from different figures to come up with our own, “improved” one.
I don’t really follow the card series (mainly because I find the artwork a bit too ‘loud’ for my taste…and also because, you know, I don’t want to nashi hasan*) so I only recognize Funagoro and The Pear himself, but the others look…well, bizarre, even before you turn them into Frankennassyis. They could be great fun to play with though!
Each figure will retail for 400 yen plus tax, and there are complete boxes of all 7 plus the secret figure available too.
*nashi hasan - 梨破産: to go bankrupt from spending too much money on Funassyi goods or travelling to see Funassyi in pearson, etc. ^_^;
Funassyi waving to commuters on the platform at Funabashi station on Thursday, August 6th.
Funabashi is so lucky to have The Pear.
Mayor Akimoto of Sapporo being Pear Juice Bushaa!-ed by Funassyi at City Hall. From the official City of Sapporo website.
Funassyi made two appearances in Sapporo, Hokkaido today to promote nashi pears from Funabashi, most notably at the Sapporo Dome, the home stadium of the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters baseball team. It was an official Funabashi city related visit, since The Pear was there with Mayor Matsudo of Funabashi as well as the official mascot of the city, Funaemon. (It looks like Mayor Matsudo reaches out to Funassyi when he needs an extra oomph of PR power for the city.)
Before visiting the baseball stadium, the Funabashi representatives visited Mayor Akimoto of Sapporo at Sapporo City Hall, and presented him with some premium grade Funabashi nashi pears, packed in Funassyi-design boxes. (They’re in the last photo above; the mayor of Sapporo is on the left of Funassyi, and the mayor of Funabashi on the right, with Funeaemon next to him. The green thing in the back is a mascot from a local amusement park called Bonbon. I guess Sapporo doesn’t have an official mascot…)
Funassyi and the whole group got to Sapporo Dome a bit late it seems, but manager Kuriyama was sanguine about it, remarking that Funassyi is very busy. Funassyi managed to do the presentation though, with both mayors in attendance again. Manager Kuriyama asked him to do an imitation of their ace pitcher Kohei Arihara, who has a very distinctive style, and Funassyi obliged with his usual gusto (top photo). Later he joined the team’s cheerleaders to rev up the crowd.
Be sure to check out this video - you’ll see Funassyi dancing, jumping, head-banging..and last but not least, running at full speed. Fantastic.
The Nippon Ham Fighters broke a 4-game losing streak and beat the Rakuten Eagles 6-1 - perhaps in part due to the Pear Juice Bushaa! good karma.
Funassyi will be in Sapporo tomorrow (August 8) also for more Funabashi-pear promotional activities. He’ll be appearing at the Mitsui Outlet Park in Sapporo Kitahiroshima at 11am. In addition, 5,000 limited-edition stickers saying “I came to promote Funabashi pears nassyi!” featuring The Pear will be given out in the Sapporo area to people who buy Funabashi pears.
The video is from the official Pacific League site.
Recap of episode 95 (week 19, episode 5) of Funassyi no Funafunafu na Biyori. A cat, a mouse, and cheese…
Funassyi has been gifted a big piece of cheese, but since he’s a pear fairy and pear fairies only eat nashi pears and nashidama (pear candies)*, he can’t eat the cheese. He asks Nyaossyi if she wants some, and is about to give her a small piece…but there’s a small shadow lurking in the corner. It’s a mouse, who swiftly grabs the cheese. Nyaossyi, being a cat, is not going to stand for that, and a wild chase commences, with Funassyi trying to get them to stop. But then the mouse trips and the cheese it’s holding goes flying out of the window, where it’s grabbed by a fish that jumps out of the stream! Funassyi consoles the crestfallen pair, reassuring them that there’s still lots of cheese left for them to share. In the meantime, the nashi pear vacuum bot is busily working in the Pear Hut, which is a disaster zone…
- I’m pretty sure we have seen Funassyi eating other things (there was the episode where he fell in love with peaches for example)…but it’s possible he’s a fruitarian. ^_^
- Nyaossyi in full attack-cat mode is quite awesome.
A new Taito Station game center opened in Funabashi recently, in front of Funabashi station. This Funassyi camping chair is one of the prizes offered. My gaming skills are so poor I would have no chance of getting one…but I really like this chair a lot.
Some photos of the event today at Funabashi Loft.
Since the theme of the event is a Shinto summer festival to honor Nashigami-sama (the Pear God), Funassyi bangs on a taiko, a traditional drum, and carries a mikoshi (a portable shrine, 3rd photo) too. He’s wearing a nejiri (twisted) hachimaki on his head - a twisted thin towel called a tenugui. This is worn by mikoshi carriers and so on at Shinto festivals. Twisted or untwisted hachimaki are worn by anyone who doesn’t want sweat running down their faces or who want to show they are working hard. You’ve probably seen manga and anime characters wearing them.
Aicchy looks cool and pretty dressed in a yukata, a lightweight summertime kimono, in the 4th photo - the people sitting around the stage are wearing traditional masks that are worn at such festivals. In the 5th photo Funassyi is looking intently at the messages written on pear-shaped tanzaku, which were hung from a bamboo tree during the July 7th tanabata star festival.
The crowd was pretty big as usual, and there were lots of people watching from the parking garage overlooking the stage too.
Here’s a video of the first half of the Funabashi Loft event. It’s a bit dark since it took place in the evening, but you can see what’s going on pretty well.
And here’s the second half:
Among other things, Funassyi mentioned that all the money donated to the Nashigami-sama shrine inside Funabashi Loft is sent to a charity that helps orphans of the March 11, 2011 earthquake. The show ends with Funassyi doing a walkabout/cartabout through the audience, with the mikoshi following him. This is like a mini-version of the typical parade that takes place at Shinto festivals.
This is the little Nashigami (Pear God) shrine inside Funabashi Loft by the way:
Funassyi and Aicchy mentioned that the torii (the gate-like thing in front of the Pear God) was made by a real torii maker in Nikko, Tochigi prefecture, so it’s a bona fide torii, not a fake stage set prop. Yellow is a very unusual color for torii though - they are usually painted a bright orange-red, like the ones at the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto The saisen-bako or donation box in front of the Pear God is also yellow.
A couple of corrections to previous posts
I’ve already edited the original posts, but since they got reblogged with the original text, here are the corrections ^_^;
- The TORE! game show on Nippon TV is airing on August 21st, not the 22nd.
- The NHK live quiz show Tsukkomu Kuizu Wandaazu is airing 2 live Funassyi programs essentially: The first one is the ‘pre-show’ and will be from 11:05 - 11:20PM on August 12th, and will be Funassyi by himself. The quiz show itself will be from 12:10AM - 1AM on the 13th (with the news etc. in between probably), where Funassyi will be answering the quiz and interacting with the “voice from above”. I’m not sure if fans can communicate with Funassyi during both segments, but I guess it’s worth tuning in to both!
Photo via The Pear.
Recap of episode 94 (week 19, episode 4) of Funassyi no Funafunafu na Biyori. Funassyi goes skiing!
Funassyi is at a ski resort. He’s doing fine since his athletic ability is unparalleled, but One-san, who normally is very agile, isn’t doing so well and can’t stop herself as she slides down a slope.
The Gonassyi brothers pop up suddenly out of the snow and Funassyi shouts at them to help One-san. The single-color brothers try, but then then Shimashimassyi just knocks everyone down. One-san is fine though.
Funassyi proposes to the Gonassyis that they play in the snow, and starts making a big snowman, but the Gonassyis want a snowball fight. It’s 5 against 1 so they quickly bury Funassyi in a huge snowball.
Exhausted and happy they’re all lying on the snow; One-san calls them to come into a kamakura (similar to an igloo) to have hot cocoa and warm up.
- An out-of-season episode, but maybe looking at snow and ice is cooling right now in Japan, where the temperatures are in the mid to high 30s C (95-100 degrees F and more)!
- The Gonassyis make their 2nd appearance in a row.
- A kamakura looks like an Inuit igloo, but it’s not a copy of an igloo - there has been a tradition of making snow huts like that in Akita prefecture in northern Japan for hundreds of years. They were built as small Shinto shrines to Mizugami-sama (the water god) during the winter months. Niigata prefecture, which also gets lots of snow in the winter, also has a tradition of making kamakura. Nowadays kamakura are popular at ski resorts or any place that gets lots of snow as fun places to hang out in, as in this episode, but the Shinto ritual of making kamakura is still carried out in some towns.
Funassyi will be appearing on a game show called Puzzle Solving Battle TORE! (Nazotoki Batoru TORE!), which airs a few times a year on Nichitele (Nippon TV). This time Funassyi will be the Nashioh, taking the role of the off-screen ‘voice from above’ host or MC called the Pharaoh that’s usually played by comedian Ryota Yamasato. The show will be a 2-hour special and air on August 21nd at 7pm on Nichitele. (Funassyi tweeted that they finished taping it today.)
TORE (pronounced to-reh) is a very physically challenging show, but Funassyi has appeared as a contestant on it before a few times. Here he is doing the inclining-wall challenge with members of the J-pop boy group Arashi. The wall becomes steeper and steeper as time goes on, and the participants have to somehow try to make their way from ledge to ledge. Before Funassyi jumps from one ledge to another, he shouts “A pear that can’t fly is just an ordinary pear nassyi!“ This is a quote adapted from the Studio Ghibli classic Porco Rosso, where the main character Porco says “A pig that can’t fly is just an ordinary pig”. This kind of pop-culture literacy adds to the appeal of The Pear.
Fan art: portrait of Funassyi in pencil. Amazing. (via)
Recap of episode 93 (week 19, episode 3) of Funassyi no Funafunafu na Biyori. Guressyi wants a party!
It’s the anniversary of Guressyi’s arrival in the human world, and the Pink One really wants someone to throw him a party. Guressyi struts around the pear orchard muttering and hinting strongly, but everyone - Funassyi, Hina and Hayato; the pear orchard owners; and even the Gonassyi brothers - just seem to ignore him.
Discouraged, Guressyi sits at the stream for a while, but decides to try again. He sees everyone huddled in front of Funassy’s Pear Hut and thinks they’re going to have a party there - but when he approaches, they all scuttle away.
Guressyi is convinced that no one is going to throw him a party - because, he’s Guressyi (and no one likes him). Tears are welling up in Guressyi’s eyes, when suddenly a kusudama opens up above him! Everyone is there - they are throwing him a party after all. Guressyi starts to respond with his usual “I don’t care” attitude, but Nyaossyi meows at him with a smile…and Guressyi can’t resist smiling back, as everyone cheers and claps. Happy anniversary Guressyi!
- The Real Funassyi tweeted that Guressyi looks like Moomin in this episode. He kind of does… ^_^
- A kusudama is sort of like a Japanese version of a piñata except that the container, which is usually shaped like a ball, just opens up with the pull of a string or something. A banner with a message on it usually drops down along with some confetti, streamers, even little origami cranes and so on, and so on. A kusudama used to be used in Shinto rituals to scatter fragrant powder, but nowadays it’s used for all kinds of festive occasions. This isn’t a clear screen shot, but here’s what dropped out of the kusudama at Guressyi’s party.
Funassyi’s current Twitter profile says that he is going to be at the Sapporo Dome on August 7th with no other details as of yet. The Sapporo Dome is the home field of the Hokkaido Nippon Fighters baseball team, and they are playing at home that day…so fan speculation is that Funassyi is going to throw out the first pitch at that night’s game. We shall see… Funassyi has thrown out the first pitch at a Chiba Lotte Marines game before. He’s also going to be in the Sapporo area on the 8th, but what he’s going to be doing then is even more mysterious.
Photo via The Pear.
Funassyi will be on an NHK quiz show with a difference. Called Tsukkomu Kuizu Wonders (Quiz Wonders you can poke/tease, or something like that), Funassyi will be live on air, alone in the studio, with a “voice from above” talking to him from off-screen. Not only that, viewers will be able to comment on what Funassyi’s doing and so on via Twitter or the program’s home page. Funassyi’s appearance will air starting at 11:05pm Japan Time on August 12th on NHK Sogo, the main NHK channel. Viewers will be able to send in their comments starting 10 minutes before airtime. (The actual quiz show will start after midnight, but Funassyi will also be participating in a pre-show of sorts with the “voice from above”.)
(EDIT: Funassyi will appear in 2 segments, both live. The first one is
the ‘pre-show’ and will be from 11:05 - 11:20PM on the 12th, and will be
Funassyi by himself. The quiz show itself will be from 12:10AM - 1AM on
the 13th (with the news etc. in between probably), where Funassyi will
be answering the quiz and interacting with the “voice from above”. I’m
not sure if fans can communicate with Funassyi during both segments, but
I guess it’s worth tuning in to both! )
If you want to participate, you can do so via the program’s home page, or by tweeting your message with the hashtag
(which means “wonders” - but the hashtag has to be in Japanese as written to be picked up most likely.) Tweets should be 50 characters or less in Japanese (I’m not sure about the length if you tweet in English…but for the best chance for your comment to be aired/shown to Funassyi, it probably should be short.)
Again, tweeting/commenting will only work from 10 minutes before airtime until the program ends or they cut it off.
Funassyi ad-libbing live should be lots of fun! He’s breaking new territory for gotouchi/yuru chara again - you have to be very quick on your feet to make a show like this work. We’ll see how witty he is in pearson, and hope for an on-air incident…I mean, hope that nothing amiss happens. ^_^
Photo via The Pear