Video: Come dancing — with the Japanese Self-Defense Forces!

posted at 9:54 pm on April 12, 2007 by Allahpundit

Couple of things here.

1. Yes, it’s a real Japanese military promo, apparently.
2. Yes, it does neatly explain the rock-bottom birthrate, now that you mention it.
3. Yes, there’s more in this vein. Danger Room, from whom I lifted this, has an even goofier clip.

Exit question: Um, just who is this ad aimed at?

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Maybe Batchelor saw this and mistook it for a British promo.

robblefarian on April 12, 2007 at 10:03 PM

Ok got to say this, Yamamoto is turning in his grave. :P

djohn669 on April 12, 2007 at 10:04 PM

Hmmm. Sounded like an audition for a Japanese version of the Village People – even the first couple of chords in the music …

IrishEyes on April 12, 2007 at 10:05 PM

Ok got to say this, Yamamoto is turning in his grave. :P

djohn669 on April 12, 2007 at 10:04 PM

Yeah, at flank speed. It’s enough to make a WWII pilot go kamikaze.

IrishEyes on April 12, 2007 at 10:07 PM

this clip needs KP hand!

jummy on April 12, 2007 at 10:08 PM

I really dont want to know what a Kamakazi is in the new Japanese navy.

William Amos on April 12, 2007 at 10:09 PM

I saw this in the comments on Danger Room and I must repeat:

Where are the Gundams?

Keljeck on April 12, 2007 at 10:15 PM

yvan eht nioj

F15Mech on April 12, 2007 at 10:23 PM

yvan eht nioJ!

Yossarian on April 12, 2007 at 10:23 PM

US Navy commercials involve helicopters, guns firing, guys rapelling down rope, Navy seals diving off assault boats, etc… it’s badass.

The Japanese commercial involves sailors prancing around on what looks like a helicopter landing deck. torn between looking military, and giving chippendales-esque pelvic thrusts…

As a fan of Japanese History and to some extent, culture… (and Anime.) I cringe at just how bad that commercial is.

They would have been better off having Sailor Moon endorse navy recruiting.

Jones Zemkophill on April 12, 2007 at 10:23 PM

Someone call the Akagi! CLIMB MOUNT ITA ON THAT SHIP!

Defector01 on April 12, 2007 at 10:27 PM

Exit question: Um, just who is this ad aimed at?

Oh, I have an idea.

see-dubya on April 12, 2007 at 10:29 PM

Maybe this is their way to combat the growing threat from the Chinese and North Korean military, surely a few of their forces died from laughter at the sight of this, right?

Bad Candy on April 12, 2007 at 10:32 PM

Alas, the good ship Lollipop has finally sailed. Nice job “boys”.

thedecider on April 12, 2007 at 10:34 PM

yvan eht nioj

F15Mech on April 12, 2007 at 10:23 PM

yvan eht nioJ!

Yossarian on April 12, 2007 at 10:23 PM

For some reason, I want to “Join the Navy”!
Or the Village People. I need to take a cold shower now…

Kini on April 12, 2007 at 10:36 PM

Yossarian on April 12, 2007 at 10:23 PM

LOL you missed it by that much.

F15Mech on April 12, 2007 at 10:36 PM

I don’t know, Allah. I think you should have pulled over the other vid. It’s much more Saturday morning cartoonish. I didn’t realize the Japanese navy were virtual tele-tubbies.

thedecider on April 12, 2007 at 10:37 PM

thedecider on April 12, 2007 at 10:37 PM

Wonder Twin Powers…Activate!

As long as I don’t go into convulsions watching a cartoon I am all for it.

F15Mech on April 12, 2007 at 10:43 PM

IrishEyes on April 12, 2007 at 10:07 PM

Now where did I leave my monacle?

IrishEi on April 12, 2007 at 10:44 PM

today’s secret ingredient on iron chef is:

oddly transparent homosexuality!

lorien1973 on April 12, 2007 at 10:46 PM

North Korea beware!

Yakko77 on April 12, 2007 at 10:48 PM

Oh you say that now! But once their ships link up and create a giant robot you’ll be singing a different tune.

– The Cat

MirCat on April 12, 2007 at 10:57 PM

P.S. Our military needs some of these.

Code Guardian

MirCat on April 12, 2007 at 11:02 PM

Looks like their site is a little slow tonight.

YouTube trailer instead.

MirCat on April 12, 2007 at 11:05 PM

Good L-rd!

I mean, I knew that we’d pacified their militaristic tendencies after WWII, which is a Good Thing, but I wasn’t aware that we’d castrated them and thrown their balls in the Marianas Trench.

On the bright side: Every time some friend of mine starts expressing unease at letting the Japanese take a more active role in the defense of the Pacific, I can now send them this clip.

It ought to isntantly cure them of any fears of a Japanese juggernaut getting funny ideas again.

Misha I on April 12, 2007 at 11:29 PM

Hmm…for some reason watching this reminded me of the Austin Powers III “Long and hard and full of seamen” joke.

Patriot33 on April 12, 2007 at 11:48 PM

You know what would really make that commercial funny? Having Jack Sparrow wandering through the ranks of dancers mouthing the word ‘Eunuchs.’

Seriously, after hearing about Crewman Bean bursting into tears after the iranians took his ipod, I’m pretty much numb to stuff like this. Who are we to judge this commercial? Have any of us served on the good ship lollipop? Have any of us done pelvic thrusts in perfect choreography for 3 hours straight? Sashay a mile in those pink penny loafers before you mock what is obviously a heartfelt entreaty to a budding generation of japanese patriots. It’s the dawn of the New Bushido. Best we get in line or we might get run down.

austinnelly on April 12, 2007 at 11:53 PM

“Seamanship for Peace”?

Where is the old bushido spirit…

Across the sea, corpses in the water;
Across the mountain, corpses in the field.
I shall die for the emperor,
I shall never look back.

Lehuster on April 13, 2007 at 12:05 AM

Exit question: Um, just who is this ad aimed at?

Maybe you can enlist in a Junior Navy at 12. or 10.

eeyore on April 13, 2007 at 12:24 AM

That was…..um…well….disturbing, very disturbing.

amerpundit on April 13, 2007 at 12:31 AM

I wouldn’t laugh to hard. Japan’s military spending is greater than that of China. They have the best navy in Asia. The current issue of Monocle has a good article on the Japanese fleet.

Theworldisnotenough on April 13, 2007 at 12:53 AM

>just who is this ad aimed at?

I think that it’s actually aimed at the civilian population, to get them to think that Japan doesn’t really have a military, or at least the kind that is trained to kill people and break things. (I frequently have Japanese students who tell me that Japan doesn’t have a military, but just a “self defense force.” The self defense force is, of course, the military.) I checked the JSDF website, and the commercials appear to have been produced for broadcast on giant-screen TVs on the sides of buildings and other public places.

The Japanese government goes to great lengths to project an image of pacifism to the general public (domestic and foreign), while at the same time building up a military that lacks practical experience, but has a lot of training, and a lot of really, really cool “toys.”

Another important element is that “cuteness” is an extremely important part of the modern Japanese aesthetic, that isn’t limited to girls. In the U.S. we just look at it as being “gay,” but in Japan it doesn’t have quite that stigma. Still, the commercials are pretty “festive.”

I’ll have to ask, but I’m pretty sure my Japanese Self Defense Force friends aren’t too happy with the commercials. They’re anything but festive, prancing nancy-boys.

Doghouse on April 13, 2007 at 1:08 AM

I wouldn’t laugh to hard. Japan’s military spending is greater than that of China. They have the best navy in Asia. The current issue of Monocle has a good article on the Japanese fleet.

Theworldisnotenough on April 13, 2007 at 12:53 AM

I’m tellin’ ya. Giant robots.

– The Cat

MirCat on April 13, 2007 at 1:14 AM

Please tell me, …….. it’s not so…….

PinkyBigglesworth on April 13, 2007 at 1:19 AM

Didn’t anyone notice that the flag in the beginning of the clip was the WW2 flag and not the red dot on a field of white used for the past few decades?

The lettering on the hats didn’t make sense either – Japanese characters are normally used two at a time with cursive (called hiragana) characters in between.

Bradky on April 13, 2007 at 1:46 AM

I should look so spiffing in dress whites. Me, Tom Cruise and John Travolta are signing up right now!

laelaps on April 13, 2007 at 2:22 AM

The Japanese government goes to great lengths to project an image of pacifism to the general public (domestic and foreign), while at the same time building up a military that lacks practical experience, but has a lot of training, and a lot of really, really cool “toys.”
Doghouse on April 13, 2007 at 1:08 AM

Ditto that, Doghouse. It’s never been a good idea to underestimate the Japanese.

Anton on April 13, 2007 at 7:49 AM

Village people meets Power Rangers.
Lmao. Another of our allies. Sigh.

Aylios on April 13, 2007 at 7:49 AM

Guys, relax…this was just music meant to soothe the savage beast Godzilla. Being a member of the Godzilla Audio-visual Youth Squad is one of the most prized positions to be filled in the Japanese Navy…young recruits bend over backwards to make sure their commanders know they want an in-person audition for the group.

James on April 13, 2007 at 8:52 AM

Is that an actual ad to join the Japanese navy????

Omg…. North Korea is gonna get it, fella!

Rick Donaldson on April 13, 2007 at 9:49 AM

Aylios on April 13, 2007 at 7:49 AM
Village people meets Power Rangers.

Hahahaha!

Lmao. Another of our allies. Sigh.

haha … ha … ha … heh … er … gulp.

naliaka on April 13, 2007 at 10:31 AM

Didn’t anyone notice that the flag in the beginning of the clip was the WW2 flag and not the red dot on a field of white used for the past few decades?

The JMSDF has used the sunburst flag since 1954.

Lehuster on April 13, 2007 at 11:21 AM

Lehuster on April 13, 2007 at 11:21 AM

Thanks for the input. I still have a hard time believing they approved it but did find the following from the Mainichi Shinbun which seems to back it up:

Bradky on April 13, 2007 at 11:30 AM

>Didn’t anyone notice that the flag in the beginning of the clip was the WW2 flag and not the red dot on a field of white used for the past few decades?

The military uses different flags. The JMSDF (navy) uses the rising sun flag that was used by the Japanese navy in WWII, while the other branches use one that is similar (with the dot and stripes) but a different overall shape. Aircraft are marked with the big red dot, though.

>The lettering on the hats didn’t make sense either – Japanese characters are normally used two at a time with cursive (called hiragana) characters in between.

That’s only with actual sentences, where hiragana is used to conjugate, or as particles, etc. Nouns are usually just one or a string of kanji (Chinese characters) that could be in pairs, could be a set of three, or any number really. The lettering on the hats reads “kaijou jieitai” which means, “maritime self defense force.” You can see the same string of characters on the JMSDF website (http://www.mod.go.jp/msdf/) next to the image of the flag, under the English title. (Assuming your browser displays Japanese characters.)

So that there is no more doubt as to the authenticity of the commercial, you can go to http://jda.webcustom.net/cm/index.html and click on the links that say “(HIGH 300k)” to see the video. The one posted here is the third one. The top one (the most recent one) is also goofy, like a Power Rangers version. The second one is far more dignified, and not “festive” at all.

Doghouse on April 13, 2007 at 11:43 AM

>Mainichi Shinbun

I found it amusing that that “report” reads more like an op-ed mocking the Japanese military (“pseudo-Navy” and “wannabe Army”). It’s not surprising, though, considering the decidedly leftist slant of the Mainichi Shinbun. The Asahi Shinbun is even worse.

Doghouse on April 13, 2007 at 11:50 AM

Doghouse on April 13, 2007 at 11:50 AM

True but it did mention that actors were used in the navy clip. Still flabbergasted the Japanese military went along with the promos.

Bradky on April 13, 2007 at 11:53 AM

>Still flabbergasted the Japanese military went along with the promos.

Oh, I’m sure that, just like in the U.S., it was politicians getting involved and screwing things up for the military…

Doghouse on April 13, 2007 at 12:07 PM

As a student of the Pacific theatre in WWII, I’ll second those who’ve said that Yamamoto must be scratching his head somewhere in the afterlife right about now.

Bottom line, though, is that “Disco Navy” and all, I’m glad they’re our friends and not our enemies.

Spurius Ligustinus on April 13, 2007 at 12:36 PM

I’m confused. Why is this funny?

I mean … it’s a Navy. Aren’t all sailors kind of like this?

Oh, yeah. I said it. Get back to driving the Marines to where they gotta go, swabbies. Don’t you have some paint to chip or some clothes to fold?

P.S. Dug that little karate kata move they stuck in the middle of the prancing. Crafty little guys.

(whistles) … In the Navy, you can set your mind at ease …

Professor Blather on April 13, 2007 at 1:02 PM

I can’t help but think that had the Iranian Revolutionary Guards taken Japanese Navy Boys hostage, it woulda been a whole different story.

Tantor on April 13, 2007 at 5:23 PM

They better cut those shenanagans out if they are near the German coast, all I can say.

B Moe on April 13, 2007 at 6:40 PM

that was gay….

Guardian on June 19, 2007 at 11:51 AM

Exit question: Um, just who is this ad aimed at?

What’s Japanese for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”?

The second ad is goofier, yet cooler.

Kid from Brooklyn on June 19, 2007 at 12:38 PM

So how do you say Village People in Japanese?

Iblis on June 19, 2007 at 2:54 PM

Don’t ask. Don’t tell. = Kikanai. Iwanai.

I’m impressed with the number of people here with above average knowledge of Japan.

The commercials have been a hit with the ladies, which makes the guys take notice and consider enlisting. The JSDF has simply followed suit with the advertisers of sports and sporting events.

They focus the content on young women who the men will try to please or impress by inviting and treating them to boat races (kyotei), bicycle races (keirin), horse racing (keiba), soccer, baseball, etc…

And it HASN’T been received well by the rank and file troops in the JSDF, as they view it as just as ‘gay’ as we do.

Rugged Individual on September 18, 2007 at 10:45 AM