Kyushu Shinkansen commercial lifts Japan spirits

“On that day, thank you for waving at us, thank you for smiling and thank you for coming together as one. From now on, Japan is going to be more fun.”

With the opening of the high-speed Kyushu Shinkansen line on March 12, just one day after the Great East Japan earthquake, JR Kyushu aired a bubbly commercial that was immediately pulled off air to sympathize with the disaster-sticken people in Tohoku.

Now, one month after the disaster, it has begun airing again in Kyushu (island in southern Japan) and its 180-second version has become a hit online.

After an almost endless run of depressing news about the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Fukushima, the sight of happy, jubilant Japanese faces doing a massive human wave across the island brought cheers and tears of joy to the nation.

To celebrate the first run of the rainbow-colored Shinkansen from Kagoshima to Hakata in Kyushu, more than 15,000 people doing a “human wave” across the island were filmed from inside the train. 100 hours of filming were compressed into 50 minutes of video, from which the final (and unusual) 180-second commercial was pieced together.

The song in the commercial is called “Boom!” by the Japanese-Swedish artist Maia Hirasawa. She wrote the lively tune after being commissioned by JR Kyushu for a song that will “bring smiles to people’s faces”. It will be available as a mini album from May 8.

Online reactions of people have been enthuasiastic with comments like “It brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it”, “I like Japan even more!”, “I hope people in Tohoku would have this kind of power”.

The most upvoted comment in YouTube: "I’m from Fukushima which was devastated by the Great Earthquake. I heard this commercial has been pulled off air after the earthquake. They shouldn’t have! It’s good to see so many smiling people, and the united power of a great country like Japan working together for a common purpose. This is a huge encouragement to people working for the reconstruction. Thank you! "

Japan’s high-speed Shinkansen train line first opened in 1964 and signalled Japan’s complete reconstruction after the devastation of World War II.

Map of Kyushu island in southern Japan showing Shinkansen stations

View Kyushu Shinkansen in a larger map

{via Oricon}


Densha de Japan asks “Is this the greatest commercial ever made?

It doesn’t matter if you’re American, Japanese, a rail fan, whatever…this is a great commercial to watch.

Buy Japanese says “You can feel the locals’ enthusiasm!

I love this commercial. It’s one of the best TV commercials I’ve ever seen. You can not only feel locals’ enthusiasm, but also how fast Shinkansen runs.