Funasshi has had more than six years of celebrity fame, so maybe it’s time for the pear creature to have a little R&R.

You may not know it, but the life of a popular mascot character like Funasshi is jam-packed with activities. The yellow pear creature that has been the unofficial mascot for Funabashi City in Chiba Prefecture has been in the spotlight for more than six years!

After its appearance on a video sharing site that went viral in 2012, the dancing, jumping, jiggly anthropomorphic pear soon became an Internet sensation, which landed it its first TV break that same year. That was quickly followed by a steady stream of commercial roles and television appearances, and even a musical debut. The character is so popular that it’s been able to sell over 800 million yen (US$7.22 million) worth of merchandise!

Yes, Funasshi has been busy, but such a tight schedule of public appearances can take a toll on a person, and a fruit, which is apparently why Funasshi hasn’t been appearing on many TV shows recently. It did make an appearance on February 18’s Shabekuri 007 x Deep and Touching One Minute Stories that Will Change Your Life ~Compilation Special~, where it talked about its recent PR absences.

▼ “Being active for six to seven years is a little hard on the body,” it said. “To put it simply.”

After nearly seven years of a busy schedule, Funasshi is feeling the physical toll of its lively and energetic dancing. Apparently it’s tired enough to think about going back to its pear-filled homeland. “To be honest,” it said, “I’d like to go back to the mystical Land of Pears and just relax, but I feel bad for all of the people who have supported me up until now.”

Funasshi’s income has also decreased in proportion to its workload, but the good news is it’s not struggling for money. It keeps all of its savings in pears, which it says it has collected about one million of. Considering pears in Japan can cost about 300 yen apiece, Funasshi could be sitting on a nice pot of 300 million yen (US$2.7 million)!

It’s also living well below its means in a modest one bedroom apartment in Funabashi, which measures about 60 square meters (about 650 square feet), so if it needs to retire in Pear Land, it certainly has the means to do so.

But Funasshi is not abandoning its fans any time soon. To help manage the workload, Funasshi has brought other Funasshis from Pear Land to help it; together, they’ve started to split the jobs and the physical toll so that Funasshi doesn’t have to abandon its fans by retiring or taking a break.

So, for now, fans will still have Funasshi around to bring them daily joy, but hopefully it doesn’t strain itself too badly. We wouldn’t want it to cause fans to worry as much as X-Japan’s Yoshiki’s fans worry about him!

Featured image: Twitter/@funassyi
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