Check out this photo of extreme fan worship in Japan. Here we have a group of (human) Arashi fans, bowing down to their round paper souvenir Arashi fans at the Nagoya Dome… arousing floods of mockery on Japanese Twitter.

Mega pop group Arashi have been taking Japan by storm with another nationwide tour. In fact, the word arashi literally means “storm”. They have been electrifying stadiums all over Japan, beginning this month with the Nagoya Dome shown above. They next hit the Sapporo Dome, and will now move on to Osaka’s Kyocera Dome (Nov 22-24), the Tokyo Dome (Dec 12-15), and Fukuoka Dome (Dec 20-22). Be still my beating heart.

▼Here is a traditional Japanese fan (uchiwa) of Arashi. Cute, aren’t they. You can use it to cool yourself down… or heat yourself up.

Image: geraldford

The level of devotion inspired in their fans is so extreme that Arashi fans have become known as “Arasick”. Having been stricken with a mild form of this malady, I can admire these beautiful singers aesthetically, without the need for public ritual.

However, others have not gotten off so lightly. Arasick fans who worshipped their idols by bowing down to the ground (this style of bow is known as dogeza) in the public space of the Nagoya Dome were recently slammed on Japanese Twitter and Matome Naver. I mean, this kind of fan worship can creep people out. Plus, people have to walk round here!

▼”Can’t you feel me? Going crazy!”

Image: Elia Miee

Some netizens called this fan worship “disgraceful behaviour”, creepy and embarrassing. Others went further and said that it was not just bad for Johnny & Associates (talent agency who represent these male idols among others), but also bad for Arashi’s image. Thanks to the bad manners of their fans, the good name of pop singers can be tarnished. Look at the “wars” between pop idols Lorde, Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez, inflated out of all proportion by enraged fans spewing vitriol and threatening physical violence. Chill pill, anyone?

Oh yeah, and my favourite Arashi member is MatsuJun. If he was lying on the ground at Nagoya Dome, I would definitely bow down. But a paper fan lying on the ground with his face on it? I’ll pass.

Source: Matome Naver (Japanese only)
Featured image: Twitter
Other images: geraldford, Elia Miee