Tokyo's first "complaints choir" sings of greedy bosses and balding

Complaints choirs are groups of people in different cities who sing about things that are bothering them. It started in Helsinki and has infected ranters all over the world, in St. Petersburg and Philadelphia and Singapore. Tokyo is home one of the newest (and funniest, in my opinion) complaint choirs. In their official music video, seen here, dozens of Japanese people ranging from young women to businessmen in suits sing about everything from screwed up pension plans to unwanted hairs.

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  1. Ah, the eternal question: The Japanese, do they understand irony or don’t they? Are they able to crack an ironic joke?
    They do have in fact a word for irony, “hiniku”, but it’s not *quite* the same.
    I’m quite willing to let this one slide, however, mainly because they included dolphins in the line-up and because of the core argument “respect Japanese culture”, which usually pops out during whaling season to justify the whole thing (f*ck “scientific research”).
    The whole song seems to me like yes, this group of people might just have a grasp on this irony-thing.

  2. Hah! This was great! It was nice to see such a wide range of ages and personal styles in the choir, most choirs I’ve been in have been so boring in those respects. I loved how much fun it looked like everybody was having.

    Now I want to watch some more of these videos.

  3. Complaining to music? So what you’re saying is… Country-Western has finally broken out of the US?

  4. Superb. Fun with great professionalism and wonderful presentation.

    And, by the way, I never missed my Japanese girlfriend of about fifteen years ago as much as I did while I watched this. :)

  5. Soon after the lines about whales and dolphins we get to “My wife hardly understands me” (8:47), which is pretty much the cliché of what married men who want to have an affair say to justify their actions. So perhaps the audience is not expected to accept all the complaints as justified.

  6. I dare say that the remark about dolphins and whales is not ironic. Japanese people are rightly upset about the nagging, or (in the case of one particular organization) violence and property damage that westerners bring to bear.

    Feel how you want about it, but the species being captured aren’t endangered. Westerners have warm feelings toward cetaceans for one reason or another, but it really is just a cultural thing. Some people would rather we didn’t ear cows, or dogs, or horses, or other meat.

  7. The rhythm of the music sounds like Brazilian chorinho in some moments, and Brazilian forró in other ones…

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