Billy the Marlin Meet Hyperactive Japanese Mascot Funassyi

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Sports has long been a vehicle for diplomacy and cultural exchange. This week, instead of politicians or competitive athletes, it was mascots doing the work as the Miami Marlins baseball mascot Billy came fin to pear leaf with Funabashi-city, Chiba Prefecture’s infamously jumpy Funassyi .

Funassyi, designed as a pear fairy who appears once in 2,000 years, won the 2013 Local Character General Election promoted by the Japan Department Store Association in August 2013. Since then, he has been very famous for his powerful and weird movements, appearing various media including the popular variety shows Sukkiri! and SMAPxSMAP.

A big welcome to my new Japanese friend, @funassyi!

— Billy The Marlin (@BillytheMarlin) August 14, 2014

ヾ(。゜▽゜)ノBilly! thank you my friend!“@BillytheMarlin: A big welcome to my new Japanese friend, @funassyi!

— ふなっしー (@funassyi) August 15, 2014

Awesome teaching my new buddy @funassyi how to pitch like @srSHREK31! #VoteHitsMcGehee

— Billy The Marlin (@BillytheMarlin) August 15, 2014

Fun night! It was without comPEARison!

— Billy The Marlin (@BillytheMarlin) August 15, 2014

Fortunately, the pear was able to make it back to Japan in time for some Puroresu


— ふなっしー (@funassyi) August 15, 2014


— ふなっしー (@funassyi) August 15, 2014


— ふなっしー (@funassyi) August 15, 2014

見てくれたみんなーありがとなっしー♪ヾ(。゜▽゜)ノ感謝感激パニブッシャー,・".*“@yunia444: @funassyi ふなっしー♪バディファイトでのオカダとこ対戦スゴかったなっしー