Funassyi-design boxes of gourmet Belgian chocolate? Why not? These little chocolate boxes from BbyB can be preordered on the Funassyiland website and all official Funassyilands (note: the Osaka store is closed for renovations until April) from January 21 at 10:00 Japan time to January 31, with delivery in February - hopefully in time for Valentine’s Day. Each box retails for 1,834 yen plus tax, and comes with a Funassyi pin badge.
Back in July when a limited-period Funassyiland opened in Yokohama, a lot of people were hoping for a soft toy version of the Funassyi as The Girl In Red Shoes (see the Yokohama Funassyiland post for details on the Girl in Red Shoes legend), or as fans call her, Onnashiko - combining the word for female - onna - with the word for pear - nashi and adding a common female name ending -ko. Well now there is an Onnashiko doll - but it’s only available from the Loft website and the Ikebukuro Loft for some reason, not from Funassyiland. It comes with a matching red tote bag, plus other undisclosed Funassyi merchandise. It kind of seems to me like the manufacturer, Rapiit, wanted to get it out as a New Years lucky bag (fukubukuro) but somehow missed the deadline or something. But regardless of the timing, this cutie is probably going to be pretty popular.
The Onnashiko doll and bag set will be available at 10:00 (10AM Japan time) on Saturday, January 21 on the Loft website (link), for 6,000 yen plus tax.
Another limited period Funassyi Cafe is opening this Saturday, January 21st, this time in Nagoya. It will be in the CoLaBoNo Cafe, which is on the 5th floor of the Sunshine Sakae Building (access info). The Funassyi Cafe in Nagoya will run until February 12th. For each Funassyi-themed item you order from the menu, you get a random Funassyi sticker. All the stickers are really cute.
CoLaBoNo Cafe website (Japanese)
The ever-reliable EMI-san (EMI2743150) has uploaded videos from Monday’s Charesupo (Challenge Sports) event to promote the Paralympics. Funassyi was there along with several fellow gotouchi chara. From left to right onstage they are Yuriito, a mascot from Tokyo that promotes sports; Kibitan from Fukushima; Musubimaru from Miyagi (a personal favorite); Sobacchi from Iwate; and last and certainly not least, the great Kumamon. In the video above they play a game called Boccha, which seems to be a modified version of bocce or boules (a ball placement game popular in the Mediterranean region), and Blind Soccer, which is played with a ball that makes sounds.
The second video below is the closing ceremony for the event, where one of the athletes lavishes praise on Funassyi for bringing such a big crowd to the event.
The first video where Funassyi faces off against goalkeeper Kumamon reminded me of their first face-to-face encounter in 2012. Both have evolved since then - Funassyi has changed quite drastically, and Kumamon was more of a lumbering figure back then I think, while now he’s more comical and light on his paws.
The always reliable EMI-san (EMI2743150) has uploaded a video of Saturday’s New Years event at Lalaport Tokyo Bay in Funabashi. Funassyi looks very dapper dressed in formal montsuki haori hakama, as he does two very traditional New Years things. The first is kakizome （書き初め）, the first writing of the new year, where you are supposed to write a word or phrase that will be your motto so to speak for the year. Funassyi’s word is 無 - mu, which can be read as nashi (although you usually add the hiragana shi after it, like so: 無し) and means “nothing”, or the “absence of anything”. He chose it because his ongoing philosophy, which is espoused on the 274ch.com site, is 我々は無理をしない - wareware wa muri o shinai. This literally means “we won’t overdo things”; to put it in more idiomatic terms it means something like “We’ll take it easy” or “We’ll keep our feet on the ground and not try to do too much”. Funassyi did get the kanji wrong (although he said he did it on purpose, because he ran out of room ^_^;) - he only did 3 vertical lines instead of the 4 in 無.
The second activity is done with some small funatomo is fukuwarai （福笑い）, which is kind of like Pin The Tail On The Donkey, except that you pin or stick the facial features onto a big smiling face that is a traditional symbol of good fortune (an otafuku). Instead of an otafuku, they use a blank version of Funassyi, and hilarity ensues.