Classroom Hoe-Down

Attention, English teachers in Japan! Are your young students suddenly disrupting your classes by doing something that looks like this?




If so, blame this man:



His name is Kojima Yoshio and, apparently, he’s a “comedian”. His shtick involves appearing in public clad only in a Speedo bathing suit. His act consists of bouncing around to techno music, rapping his catch phrase (“Sonna no kankei nee” – What does that matter?), and, of course, executing his signature move. I don’t watch Japanese TV so the man and his gambit were entirely unknown to me. I was originally charmed when I saw my first set of 6 year old boys involving themselves in what appeared to be a spastic hoe-down during our “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” sing-a-long but imagine my surprise and confusion when I noticed that in each of my classes that week – in entirely different schools – at least one male student jumped up to perform the exact same move.


“Ryo!” I called to the latest one to begin delightedly stamping his feet and pumping his elbow in my presence. “What’s this?” I repeated his movements. “Anime? TV?”


Terebi*!” cried Ryo, leaping up to write on the whiteboard (in hiragana): geinin.




“Geinin!” he said, proudly – tapping the marker over each syllable. I suppose it hadn’t occurred to him that I might not be able to read hiragana (I can) or that I might not know what a geinin was (I didn’t). Nonetheless, he was trying his best to help me get to the bottom of this mystery.

Carnitas explained to me later that a geinin is a comedian. I got the man’s name from a staff member, who is a big fan. Ordinarily, I might become obsessed with a man like Kojima Yoshio, due to my love for all things ridiculous but I’ve watched him on the internet a few times and though my Ridiculous Sense is tingling I find myself reacting to him more with annoyance than with excitement.


Check out the magic for yourself:


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