The Train Commercial That Is Helping to Heal Japan

A fantastic and uplifting commercial that, in light of recent disasters, is a joyous celebration of Japan’s national pride.

Japan has been through a lot in the last few months — earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear meltdowns, and an unfathomable loss of life and property. I’ve recently begun reading through 2:46: Aftershocks: Stories from the Japan Earthquake — a collection of essays, articles, etc. about the disastrous events of March 11 that is currently available as a free Kindle download — and was immediately reminded of the horrible damage that the nation has suffered, and that they still have a long road of recovery ahead.

Which is why this three-minute commercial, made for the high-speed Kyushu Shinkansen bullet train line that opened on March 12, is so special. On the face of it, it’s clever and enjoyable enough: the commercial is essentially a collection of shots of 15,000 people doing one long ​“wave” along the train’s route on its initial run. But when you take into account the horrible disaster that had just occurred, the commercial becomes something else entirely, a joyous celebration of national pride and solidarity. The commercial was originally pulled off the air in order to sympathize with the victims of the March 11 disaster, but has since become a huge hit online. (More info on the commercial and the response to it can be found here.)

On an entirely geeky sidenote, I think my favorite moment in the commercial occurs around the 1:03 mark (pay attention to the lower left corner of the screen).

Via The Dish.