Video: ‘Old Heartbeat’ dance becomes a TikTok sensation in Japan – News


The slang word mixes “ojisan”, which means “old men” in Japanese, and “kyun”, which means “love at heart”.



Published: Mon 6 Jun 2022, 12:57

Last update: Mon 6 Jun 2022, 13:01

Showing off their awkward moves in brightly colored shirts, ties and belly warmers, four men in their 50s and 60s have become Japan’s latest TikTok sensation.

The mission of the group? Promote their small country town, whose population is in decline, through dance numbers to pop tunes that fans describe as “adorable”.

Since they were first posted in February, the videos, filmed in prime locations from playgrounds and shrines to municipal buildings, have been viewed more than 16 million times.

The four call themselves “ojiqun” – a slang word used by young people that mixes “ojisan”, which means “old men” in Japanese, and “kyun”, which means “love at heart”.

They wear dress pants, smart shoes and heat bands of different colors – blue, green, yellow and red – and keep a straight face even when they are struggling to keep up with the times.

One of the members, Takumi Shirase, 52, runs an IT business and a gardening business when not on TikTok.

He told AFP he created ojiqun with three friends to try to put the rural town of Wake, in Japan’s western Okayama region, back on the map.

“We wanted to come up with something that would revitalize our aging rural community, which is suffering from population decline with fewer and fewer children,” he said.

Wake currently has a population of around 14,000 and Shirase said her old primary school closed due to lack of demand.

A local shopping center has also disappeared, while some annual festivals no longer take place in the city.

But with more than 34,000 TikTok followers, “we hope to encourage people to come to Wake, either as tourists or as new residents,” Shirase said.

Ojiqun’s final post, “centipede dance,” shows the four men doing a goofy Madness-style single-file march past a concrete building for a rendition of “House of Fun.”

Fans dotted the comments under each video with heart symbols, calling them “splendid” and “adorable.”

“Laughed over and over again,” a recent comment read.

“I have a peaceful smile, for the first time in a long time,” said another.


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