Video: Fukushima shows the world they are ‘Happy’

Published: July 8, 2014

CEN AGENCY

People living in the Japanese province of Fukushima have decided to tell the world that they are alive and well and living perfectly normal lives despite the tragedy by recording a music video to go with the Pharrell Williams’ hit song “Happy”.

Fukushima-Japan-Tsunami-nuclear radiation

Fukushima sows the world how “Happy” they are with this video on Pharrell Williams song. CEN

Hitomi Kumasaka, a 53-year-old consulting firm manager in Fukushima, came up with the idea of creating a Fukushima version of the song after learning on the internet of a widespread misunderstanding that people can no longer live in the region due to the nuclear accident caused by the earthquake and tsunami.

About 200 people, including Fukushima Mayor Kaoru Kobayashi, small children, Buddhist monks, and people from all walks of life in the area appear in the video and dance in their own styles.

Everyone was able to interpret the song how they wanted, and the video they produced as a result was filmed at various locations including the Fukushima Train Station, local tourism attractions such as the hot springs, a rice paddy and vineyards, and a shopping mall.

Together with acquaintances, Kumasaka filmed the video over two weeks in May and then released it last month attracting half a million views.

He said: “With this video, I want you to know that we are also happy and healthy just like you. Please enjoy our dance and share our happiness. And many thanks to Pharrell for this great song.”

Williams’s song, which repeats the phrase “because I’m happy” with a light rhythm, was released late last year. Since then, many people have been creating their own videos with the song as the soundtrack, and sharing them on the internet has become a global phenomenon. There were also well over 1,000 comments on the Fukushima version with many people saying it was the best interpretation yet of the hit song.

One wrote: “[The video] cheered me up” and another added “Is it really filmed in Fukushima?”

JR Fukushima Station Master Yasunori Kano, who appeared in the video, said: “I hope that the video shows how attractive Fukushima is.”

Volunteers in Ishinoamki, Miyagi Prefecture, and in Rikuzen-Tataka, Iwate Prefecture, are also working on their own “Happy” videos, which are expected to be released from early July.

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