Grab your tissues! Pikotaro is going to make you cry.

Pikotaro, also known by his real name, Kosaka Daimaou, is best remembered for his ridiculously silly songs like Pen Pineapple Apple Pen and “Can You see? I’m Sushi”. But the comedian is much more than his silly persona; he actually seems like a pretty nice guy, since he participates in a program that grants the wishes of critically ill children in Japan.

On September 30, he wrote on his official blog about how, in April this year, he met a little girl named Airi, whose illness required her to undergo regular surgeries, spend much of her life in the hospital, and take medicine that produces a number of unpleasant side effects, including the loss of her hair. He was touched by how hard she was fighting for her health, but he never planned to publicize his visit with her until a strange and touching miracle happened.

Three-year old Airi was a huge fan of Pikotaro, so when she knew he was coming, she surprised him by dressing up exactly like him. She had put on his trademark golden outfit, leopard-print scarf, and sunglasses, and she even wore a wig to match his hair! She looked just like an adorable mini-Pikotaro, and she was so excited to see him she jumped for joy, then gave him a low-five and huge hug.

Pikotaro and Airi-chan immediately launched into a spirited rendition of “PPAP”, using a karaoke machine and microphones that were provided for the occasion, and to his surprise, little Airi danced to the song wildly and vigorously. He said she was so excited, she looked like she could jump into the sky! She sang the lyrics to “Neo Sunglasses” louder than Pikotaro himself, and they sang song after song and danced move after move together until they were both tired and sweaty.

When it was time to take a break, she sat right in his lap and they had a little chat. Airi’s mother had one request for Pikotaro: that he ask Airi to keep fighting, since the next week she would be undergoing another strenuous dose of medicine. But when he said to Airi, “You’re going to get rid of the bad guys in your body next week, right?” her face fell and she looked away sadly, and Pikotaro felt so sad for her. “Just do your best!” he said quickly. “I”ll come back and see you, and I’ll send you more videos. Do your best, okay?”

Little by little Airi’s bright smile came back, and Pikotaro knew she was going to fight. He just had this feeling that she was going to be okay, that she would get better and make it through, that a miracle would happen. He knew it was silly to think so, but he just believed, because he just couldn’t think that this happy little girl would lose to her illness.

Before leaving that day, Pikotaro and Airi sang more songs, exchanged presents, promised to meet again, and said a long, long goodbye. Pikotaro earnestly believed she would get better, and looked forward to seeing her again soon.

He never did. Airi underwent lots of treatment after that, and before another big surgery, she asked to see him again. But her condition at that time was not good, and Pikotaro was told that it wouldn’t be a good idea for him to visit. All he could do was send videos and write letters, all while planning to sing “Can You See? I’m Sushi!” with her next time. But on September 27, at just three years old, little Airi went to heaven, and Pikotaro never got to sing and dance with her again.

The miracle that Pikotaro was sure would happen, didn’t. Not for Airi. But on the day she died, a set of strange coincidences convinced him that a miracle had happened, just not in the way he had initially predicted.

The first of the coincidences was that Airi passed away on the very day two years ago that “Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen” was tweeted by Justin Bieber, the very day that Pikotaro became world-famous: September 27.

And on that same day, Pikotaro happened to be in Madrid for JAPAN WEEKEND MADRID, where he performed for a wildly enthusiastic crowd and then conducted a Q&A session. In the audience was a very lively young girl, between eight to ten years old, who excitedly raised her hand every time an opportunity arose. She was a little small, and the MC seemed to miss her every time, so Pikotaro deliberately asked them to choose her.

The little girl clutched the microphone, blushing, and asked excitedly, “What’s your favorite animal?”

Pikotaro was touched by the innocent nature of her question, and he responded, “Alpacas!” Alpacas are fluffy llamas native to South America, and they’re often used as mascots in Japan, but since they’re not as well-known in Spain, she didn’t know what they were. Pikotaro said, “Please Google it!” and everyone laughed while the girl nodded enthusiastically.

Afterwards, there was a limited-entry autograph signing for just 100 of Pikotaro’s fans, and that same girl appeared, with her father in tow, but this time, she held a rainbow-colored stuffed alpaca!

“I Googled it and got one for you!” she said, handing it to him.

Pikotaro was nonplussed, but he accepted the alpaca gratefully. Though only an hour had passed between the events, she managed to look up alpacas, find a stuffed one, and buy it for him. He was so happy that he almost cried tears of joy.

She gave him a huge hug and asked for his autograph. On occasions when Pikotaro goes overseas for signings, the staff usually get the names of the people receiving the autographs ahead of time so that he can write their names next to his signature. So when he received the card with the little girl’s name on it, he was absolutely shocked:

Her name was Airi!

Pikotaro could not help but think that this was little Airi sending him a gift from heaven. It had to be some kind of miracle. Some would say it’s just a coincidence, but what are the odds? Airi is a pretty rare name in Spain, as Pikotaro soon learned, and isn’t it a rather amazing coincidence that he would meet another Airi, in a country across the world where Airi’s are rare, on the day that little Airi died, which also happens to be the day that Pikotaro went viral?

Yes, it couldn’t be anything other than a miracle, he decided. Little Airi, freed from her suffering, had sent him one last, touching message.

At the end of his story, he finished it off with an emotional final goodbye to little Airi:

“Airi-chan, you don’t have to suffer anymore. You don’t have to have painful treatments anymore. I will always remember you. Rest well. I’ll make more funny videos, so please dance with me. I can’t make anything other than ridiculous songs, but always jump for joy, okay? Goodnight. See you later.”

Pikotaro hasn’t uploaded any pictures of little Airi to his social media accounts, but there are pictures of her at the end of his blog entry, so if you really want a good cry (again), take a look at the happy, cheerful photos of the sweet little girl, who, sadly, couldn’t win in her battle against disease. Keep a box of tissues handy!

Rest in peace, little Airi! And as for Pikotaro, some may say what he does is stupid, but this story shows that his songs make a difference in people’s lives every day, so to him I say, “Keep on keeping on”!

Source: Komatsu Daimou Official Blog via Hachima Kiko
Featured Image: Twitter/@pikotaro_ppap