Dancing ‘old heartthrobs’ become Japan’s TikTok sensation

This undated handout been given on June 6, 2022, and supplied by Takumi Shirase, a member of the four middle-aged adult males device “Ojiqun,” shows users of the group dancing while donning neckties and colored stomach warmers in Wake city, western Okayama prefecture. (Agence France-Presse)

TOKYO — Exhibiting off their awkward moves in shirts, ties, and brightly colored stomach warmers, four adult males in their 50s and 60s have turn out to be Japan’s most recent TikTok sensation.

The group’s mission? To boost their smaller countryside city, whose population is in drop, by way of dance routines to pop tunes that supporters call “adorable.”

Considering that their very first submit in February, the video clips, filmed in option places from playgrounds and shrines to municipal buildings, have been considered much more than 16 million situations.

The four get in touch with by themselves “ojiqun” — a slang word used by young men and women that mixes “ojisan,” which suggests “old men” in Japanese, and “kyun,” this means “heartthrob.”

They dress in match trousers, sensible shoes and belly-warmer bands in distinct colours — blue, green, yellow and crimson — and continue to keep a straight experience even when they wrestle to stay in time.

One of the customers, 52-year-previous Takumi Shirase, runs an IT firm and a gardening company when not on TikTok.

He informed Agence France-Presse (AFP) he experienced developed ojiqun with 3 pals to check out and place the rural city of Wake, in western Japan’s Okayama region, back on the map.

‘House of Fun’

“We preferred to arrive up with one thing that would revitalize our aging countryside community, which is struggling from populace decrease with fewer and fewer little ones,” he stated.

Wake at the moment has about 14,000 inhabitants, and Shirase reported his outdated most important school had shut because of to a absence of demand from customers.

A regional procuring shopping mall has also disappeared, although some once-a-year festivals are no for a longer time held in the town.

But with much more than 34,000 TikTok followers, “we hope to encourage persons to arrive to Wake, both as holidaymakers or as new people,” Shirase stated.

Ojiqun’s most current put up, “centipede dance,” shows the 4 adult men carrying out a goofy Insanity-fashion stroll in single file in entrance of a concrete constructing to a rendition of “House of Enjoyment.”

Supporters have peppered the responses beneath every movie with coronary heart symbols, calling them “splendid” and “adorable.”

“I laughed all over again and once again,” mentioned a single modern remark.

“I have a tranquil smile, for the first time in a lengthy while,” reported another.

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