Dancing ‘previous heartthrobs’ turn into Japan’s TikTok sensation


This undated handout acquired on June 6, 2022, and supplied by Takumi Shirase, a member of the 4 middle-aged males unit “Ojiqun,” exhibits members of the group dancing whereas carrying neckties and coloured stomach heaters in Wake city, western Okayama prefecture. (Agence France-Presse)

TOKYO — Displaying off their awkward strikes in shirts, ties, and brightly coloured stomach heaters, 4 males of their 50s and 60s have turn into Japan’s newest TikTok sensation.

The group’s mission? To advertise their small countryside city, whose inhabitants is in decline, via dance routines to pop tunes that followers name “lovely.”

Since their first publish in February, the movies, filmed in selection places from playgrounds and shrines to municipal buildings, have been seen greater than 16 million instances.

The 4 name themselves “ojiqun” — a slang phrase utilized by younger those who mixes “ojisan,” which suggests “previous males” in Japanese, and “kyun,” which means “heartthrob.”

They put on swimsuit trousers, sensible footwear and belly-warmer bands in numerous colours — blue, inexperienced, yellow and purple — and hold a straight face even after they wrestle to remain in time.

One of many members, 52-year-old Takumi Shirase, runs an IT agency and a gardening firm when not on TikTok.

He informed Agence France-Presse (AFP) he had created ojiqun with three buddies to attempt to put the agricultural city of Wake, in western Japan’s Okayama area, again on the map.

‘Home of Enjoyable’

“We wished to give you one thing that may revitalize our getting older countryside neighborhood, which is affected by inhabitants decline with fewer and fewer kids,” he stated.

Wake at present has round 14,000 residents, and Shirase stated his previous main college had closed as a consequence of an absence of demand.

An area shopping center has additionally disappeared, whereas some annual festivals are now not held within the city.

However with greater than 34,000 TikTok followers, “we hope to encourage folks to return to Wake, both as vacationers or as new residents,” Shirase stated.

Ojiqun’s newest publish, “centipede dance,” exhibits the 4 males doing a goofy Insanity-style stroll in single file in entrance of a concrete constructing to a rendition of “Home of Enjoyable.”

Followers have peppered the feedback below every video with coronary heart symbols, calling them “splendid” and “lovely.”

“I laughed many times,” stated one latest remark.

“I’ve a peaceable smile, for the primary time in a protracted whereas,” stated one other.

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