When you think of Japan, you’d probably think of world-famous places like Tokyo and Kyoto. But there are also places less traveled in Japan–even by Japanese people–that are absolutely worth visiting. One of those is Kagoshima City.
Located at the very southern tip of the island of Kyushu, which is about as far south and as far west as you can get in Japan without traveling all the way to Okinawa, Kagoshima is often overlooked even by travelers to Kyushu in favor of places like Fukuoka, Nagasaki, and the hot spring paradise of Beppu.
And yet, Kagoshima has just as much to offer as any other place in Kyushu, and is striving to show everyone with an entertaining promotional video featuring a funny dance and a catchy song. It’s called "Ishin Dancin’ Kagoshima-shi Returns ~This is the Real Kagoshima~", and it features the Kagoshima Vocational High School Men’s Rhythmic Gymnastics team wearing bushy eyebrows and matching kimono as they dance around the best sites of Kagoshima City.
This is actually the third installment of these videos, which is why it’s called “Ishin Dancin’ Kagoshima Returns”. The first video came out in 2018, and after becoming relatively famous and gaining 1.8 million views, it was recreated two years later with the same melody, new sites, and new lyrics. Even the dance was changed a bit.
The song featured in the videos is ridiculously catchy, and you will find yourself humming it all day long after watching them. The lyrics match the scenes depicted, showing off the best things about Kagoshima City, including Sakurajima, one of the most active volcanoes in Japan and the pride of Kagoshima, the city’s local delicacies, like kurobuta pork, kuroushi beef, sweet potatoes, and Kagoshima ramen, and even new spots like the Koala Center at Hirakawa Zoo.
▼ Here, sweet potatoes are showcased.
Meanwhile, the dancers use the comedic timing of strange body movements, tumbling, poses, and of course, funny faces to drive in the lyrics’ points and highlight some of the best things Kagoshima has to offer. And at the end of the video, the dancers are joined by Kagoshima locals of all ages, who dance to the catchy tune in support of their hometown.
All three videos feature members of the Men’s Rhythmic Gymnastics team of Kagoshima Vocational High School (known as KagoJitsu for short) as the dancers. They’re famous across Japan for their unique performances at the sport’s national championships. You can see how talented they are with the quality of their movements and the ease with which they perform the dance.
Why the bushy eyebrows, you ask? Because they’re dressed up as Saigo Takamori, one of the most famous samurai in Japanese history, who was born in Kagoshima (then the Satsuma domain) in the Edo period. Statues of Saigo in Kagoshima depict his famously bushy eyebrows, and he was known for wearing kimono without hakama pants, which is why the dancers are all dressed that way too.
It seems the Internet has been waiting for this newest iteration of the Ishin Dancin’ Kagoshima-shi video, as comments expressed joy at the series’ return and admiration for its newest installment:
“The new one is totally different, and I love it! I love how they added more detailed movements to the chorus dance. Go for it, KagoJitsu! Thanks for the laughs and the feels!”
“This video makes me want to watch it over and over again, and the melody is going to get stuck in my head. The KagoJitsu dancers are so nimble, it makes it even more fun.”
“Kagoshima definitely has a lot going for it!”
You may not have even known about Kagoshima City before, never mind thought about visiting it, but we bet that’s changed now. We also recommend Kagoshima City for their local kaiten-zushi restaurant chain, which has a secret weapon that beats out our usual favorites. As you can see, there’s plenty of reasons to visit, so consider putting it at the top of your list of future destinations.
Source, images: YouTube/Kagoshima Convention
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