Those familiar with Japanese pop culture have probably come across the jiggly pear mascot Funasshi, and those living in Japan probably can’t escape his image on TV, T-shirts, and tea. The unofficial mascot of Funabashi City had a grassroots rise to fame which was very unique in the world of mascots and stands as an inspiration to many.

Our very own Mr. Sato stands as one of those inspired by the giant dancing fruit, and decided to emulate Funasshi’s success by becoming a self-starting mascot himself. Of course, what better thing to represent than Funasshi himself! So by donning yellow make-up and leotards, he transforms into Satosshi, the unofficial mascot of Funabashi’s unofficial mascot Funasshi.

First stop on his road to riches is Funabashi City where the legendary “Funasshi Burger” topped with a slice of pear is said reside. There couldn’t be a better place to get some exposure.

Joining Satosshi along for this journey was fellow RocketNews24 Japan reporter Nakano. From the very start, Nakano has his reservations about Satosshi going into Funabashi dressed as their beloved mascot. He had heard stories of residents becoming violently angry at people who have pretended to be the jiggly pear in the past.

As Mr. Sato was applying his third coat of white eye make up on the car ride through Chiba Prefecture, Nakano pleaded one last time to reconsider. “They might misunderstand your intentions,” Nakano said. “Besides, Funasshi probably doesn’t really need your help. He’s already pretty big you know.”

“Look, those times the townsfolk got mad were because people were trying to pass themselves off as the real Funasshi with an identical costume,” Satosshi replied climbing out of the car. “I clearly look different. I’m a mascot of Funasshi and I think my love for him and the city really comes across in this costume.”

Satosshi continued his defense to Nakano saying how the real Funasshi was too busy traveling around the world, and that someone had to “hold the fort” while he was gone. However, despite Satosshi’s appeals, Nakano still couldn’t feel safe standing next to this big yellow walking target of hate.

They made their way to the Golden Burger restaurant where the Funasshi Burger was served. “I can’t go in there,” Nakano thought to himself, “They’re totally going to lynch us.”

Nakano: “Oh, say Satosshi?”

Satosshi: “Yessshi?”

Nakano: “Um, I just remembered… I’m, like, a vegetarian.”

Satosshi: “Ohssshi?”

Nakano: “Yeaaaah, the sight of meat just makes me think of all those slaughtered animals and stuff. It really offends me. If you don’t mind I’m just going to go find some… uh, baba ghanoush. I’ll meet up with you later okay?”

Satosshi: “Oh… okay then.”

And so Satosshi walked towards the entrance to Golden Burger alone. “That poor bastard,” thought Nakano.

He waited outside for the sounds of a scuffle and the sight of Mr. Sato’s lifeless body inevitably being thrown down the stairs for impersonating a local legend. However, minutes passed and nothing happened. Nakano peered up at the restaurant window.

It was fine! Satosshi sat there calmly eating his Funasshi burger in a crowded restaurant like it was perfectly normal. Just then, Nakano’s phone suddenly dinged and he checked his Twitter feed. It was from Golden Burger.

“Satosshi came to Golden Burger! Naturally he enjoyed a Funasshi Burger☆”


“Funasshi Burger is Delicioussshi!”



After emerging from the restaurant unscathed, Satosshi told Nakano that the Funasshi Burger was surprisingly delicious. It had a slice of pear on top of the patty, which seemed a risqué choice for a burger topping, but the result was great.

He also got a souvenir Funasshi sticker for ordering it.

Nakano was shocked but also moved by the open-heartedness of the people of Funabashi. Rather than run Mr. Sato out of their town as the fraud he was, they welcomed him with fruity burgers and stickers.

Then it occurred to Nakano that perhaps it wasn’t just the wild antics of Funasshi that made him a success, but the generous support of the overwhelmingly nice people of Funabashi around him that helped his rise to greatness.

Shop Information

Golden Burger

2F Y.K. Bldg. 1-13-14 Honmachi, Funabashi, Chiba

Mon.-Thurs. 6:00pm-4:00am
Fri. 6:00pm-Midnight
Sat. 11:30am-Midnight
Sun. & Holidays 11:30am-4:00pm, 6:00pm-11:00pm
Closed on Tuesdays

Deliciousshiness ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ (because of the excitement of learning that pears actually went well with hamburgers)

Model: Mr. Sato
Report by Nakano
Photos: RocketNews24

Look for Satosshi in your neighborhood unofficially raising awareness of Funasshi who’s unofficially raising awareness for Funabashi City

[ Read in Japanese ]