I wanna be where you are
August 19, 2013 6:11 AM   Subscribe

On a hazy February day in 2011, a special rainbow-colored train sped down the tracks to celebrate the newly-completed bullet train line spanning the island of Kyushu, Japan, and everybody came out to greet it.
posted by Sokka shot first (19 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
The line proper opened on March 12, the day after the Tohoku earthquake/tsunami, and in response to the disaster, the Kyushu Shinkansen opening festivities--including this commercial--were hastily canceled.

However, the spot, entitled "祝!九州" ("Celebrate! Kyushu") had been airing on TV in the days running up to the line opening, and people who'd seen it had derived such joy from it that JR Kyushu was convinced to put the spot back on the air in the weeks following the tsunami. This re-airing eventually included the longer, 3-minute version linked above.
posted by Sokka shot first at 6:11 AM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

This makes me want to play Katamari Damacy.
posted by Foosnark at 6:28 AM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

This makes me want to play Katamari Damacy.

You want to roll around a larger and larger ball of people wearing rainbow-colored wigs and waving umbrellas? You monster!
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:34 AM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

This works me up the same way as Where the Hell is Matt... which leaves me both teary and wondering what the hell is wrong with my emotional rigging.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 6:44 AM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Most importantly though: what is the name and artist of that freaking song?!
posted by Poppa Bear at 6:50 AM on August 19, 2013

Maia Hirasawa「Boom!!」
posted by Cold Lurkey at 6:52 AM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah, this made me start crying and I couldn't figure out why. I had to go and have a think, and I realized that I was crying because there are places in the world where major, important infrastructure projects are being built, where the population expresses genuine joy about those projects going on-line, and I don't live in one of those places.
posted by 1adam12 at 7:12 AM on August 19, 2013 [12 favorites]

This is a good place to recommend Koreeda Hirokazu's film, Kiseki (I Wish). The trailer makes it out to be mushier than it is. In fact, Koreeda's directorial patience and miraculous touch with child actors manage to keep the film on solid ground. It may tug on your heartstrings, but it won't fling you around by them.

Full disclosure: I love Kagoshima, so the setting was inherently thrilling for me, but I think the film would hold up without that extra interest.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 7:15 AM on August 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

I can't help but point out that I Wish is available on Netflix.

Thanks, Ice Cream Socialist. I know what I'm watching tonight.
posted by Sokka shot first at 7:26 AM on August 19, 2013

That was beautiful. Everyone seemed so excited.

What do the intertitles that look like "X! XX" mean? Are those the locations?
posted by grouse at 7:37 AM on August 19, 2013

Yeah, they mean "celebrate! (location)".
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 7:45 AM on August 19, 2013

Oh that's great, Sokka shot first! I hope you enjoy it. If you haven't seen other Koreeda films yet, I highly recommend them.

Aruite mo aruite mo (Still Walking), a quiet drama centered around a family visit with aging parents, is one of my all-time favorite films.

Though the subject matter of Kûki ningyô (Air Doll) might be offputting, the creepiness of the situation is mitigated by the title character's wonder at the world around her. Overall it's quite revealing and thoughtful.

Dare mo shiranai (Nobody Knows) is an incredible, award-winning film, but it's about neglected children, and after trying several times and ending up in tears, I found it too sad to finish. Though it's a great film, the children's incredibly real performances upset me too much.

Maboroshi no hikari (Maborosi) is also very sad, but beautiful.

In short, Koreeda's great, but I think I'd better stop before I cause a derailment.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 8:12 AM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

that's like the hugest wavy inflatable guy ever
posted by angrycat at 8:28 AM on August 19, 2013

I love people!!
posted by wemayfreeze at 10:00 AM on August 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

Now that's a country that really likes trains!
posted by smrtsch at 11:55 AM on August 19, 2013

Who is the narrator saying arigato to several times?
posted by grouse at 11:56 AM on August 19, 2013

Also, you can find the Japanese script names of all the stations on the Wikipedia entry for Kyushu Shinkansen. In the video they travel from Kagoshima-Chūō (鹿児島中央) to Hakata (博多) in the reverse order of the station list on Wikipedia.
posted by grouse at 12:05 PM on August 19, 2013

The closing narration uses a very Japanese-y cadence for its copy, but an inelegant translation would be something like:
That day, you helped us finish. Thanks.
Thanks for laughing with us.
Thanks for being part of this.
All lines of the Kyushu Shinkansen are open
A Kyushu brought together is a stronger Kyushu.
A Kyushu brought together is going to make Japan that much more fun.
Together with everyone, we've opened all lines of the Kyushu Shinkansen.
Ugh, translating ad copy is such a pain.
posted by Sokka shot first at 12:32 PM on August 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

Thanks, Sokka shot first! A much needed boost. People do love their trains in Japan, but it's also something about Kyushu. It used to be quite isolated without Shinkansen or other fast train services. Living in the southern part of the island used to mean a long, arduous trek, or an expensive airline ticket to get to the cities on the "mainland" of Honshu.
Kyushu people have a lot of local pride, but also fewer work opportunities. Many leave for Osaka or elsewhere for work. This train meant something to divided families and people who wanted to go "home".
posted by Gotanda at 2:28 PM on August 19, 2013 [5 favorites]

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