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Even though the show just aired its final episode this week, the waves of Japan’s hit comedy-drama Nigeru Wa Haji Daga Yaku Ni Tatsu (roughly translated as Running Away Is Shameful But Useful) has still yet to subside. The story follows the lives of 25-year-old Mikuri Moriyama (played by Yui Aragaki) and 36-year-old Hiramasa Tsuzaki (played by Gen Hoshino) as they form an unconventional employment contract disguised as an ordinary marriage, with Mikuri working as a live-in housekeeper for Hiramasa, who works as a system engineer.
Fans were glued to their screens as they watched Mikuri and Hiramasa's relationship take a series of odd twists and turns, and the show, which soon became known as Nige-Haji, boasted top ratings during its duration. But it was not just Nige-Haji's unique storyline that contributed to its massive popularity — the closing theme song “Koi” sung by Gen Hoshino caught on like fire, leaving its tunes stuck in the heads of viewers and non-viewers alike.
The song has garnered over 55 million views on YouTube, both for its catchiness and the infectious dance moves that go along with it. The "Love Dance," which is charmingly performed by the cast of the drama in the show's closing credits, has gathered its own devoted fans who have shared countless videos of themselves copying the choreography. Even Olympic gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu has been seen banging out some moves with fellow ice skaters!
But it appears that the Love Dance phenomenon has reached an international audience, and the staff at the U.S. Embassy in Japan have recently shared a Christmas rendition of the dance. It features U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy dressed as Santa, as well as other staff joining along wearing reindeer antlers and Christmas tree costumes. The video also shows appearances by other diplomats and staff from throughout the country celebrating the holidays with their well-honed dance moves.
The 90-second video has received over 2 million views, becoming an online hit that could give the original a run for its money. With even the U.S. Embassy catching on, it's safe to say that the Love Dance has successfully captivated the hearts of Japan.