Once in a while the Japanese release a public service commercial that is simply breath-taking in its sincerity and pure emotion – like the fantastic Kyushu Shinkansen CM from last spring. For a nation so stereotypically introverted and reserved, these short movies are like a beam of light shining into the viewer’s soul.
The 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami had resulted, of course, in a number of such messages, from companies, corporations, artists and normal people. The one I found particularly tugging on my heart-strings, however, was the below set of Suntory commercials. The premise was simple: get as many Japanese celebrities as you can and get them to sing a line each from two of Kyu Sakamoto‘s greatest hits: “Ue no muite arukou” (also known as Sukiyaki Song) and “Miagete Goran Yoru no Hoshi o”. A sort of TV ad-style Live Aid. For your (and mostly mine) convenience, I have gathered all the versions of the two ads here. Try to see how many celebrities can you recognise! 🙂
Miagete Goran Yoru no Hoshi o:
D (the one with Tommy Lee Jones)
Ue no muite arukou:
C (the one with Tommy Lee Jones)
E (fantastic enka voice control from Kiyoko Suizenji at the end)
And in the end, here are all of them together made into one video: