We’ve seen what some lucky Japanese students get up to at their crazy cosplay graduation ceremonies, and now we bring you an entrance ceremony extravaganza! New students enrolling at Kinki University in Osaka on April 5th were treated to a stadium-style light show and idol dance performance conceived by Tsunku, the producer behind idol supergroup Morning Musume.

While some Japanese netizens took to social media to question the organisers’ use of funds in throwing such an extravagant party for students who are, after all, only just entering the school, the university offered up an original reason for putting on the spectacular show: to encourage the one-third of incoming students who hadn’t picked Kinki University as their first choice.

As you may well know, April sees the start of a new academic year in Japan and from kindergarten right up to university, that means an entrance ceremony – typically, a fairly formal affair punctuated with lots of bowing. Not this one! Tsunku, who as well as being the brains (and composer and producer) behind Morning Musume is also a Kinki University alumnus, put together an entrance ceremony featuring new and present students performing one of Morning Musume’s dance routines.


A representative from the university’s Public Relations department said in March:

“Unfortunately, we know that for one-third of students, our school was not their first choice. The entrance ceremony is our chance to change that.”

▼ The girls auditioned back in February for a place in the dance team.


Image: Sankei News

The group, called KINDAI GIRLS, performed Morning Musume’s hit “Sōda! We’re alive!”


Image: Sankei News

91 students auditioned, and 16 made the cut. Shame about the other 75…hopefully they’re not regretting their choice of school now.


Image: Sankei News

Tsunku was unable to attend the ceremony in person because he is currently undergoing treatment for throat cancer, but as well as sending a message of support to the inaugural students, he was also able to comment live on Twitter. The theme of this year’s entrance ceremony was “breakthrough”, and in his congratulatory address Tsunku spoke of his desire to focus on getting well and “breaking through” to a new future.

▼ Japanese language fact of the day: male alumni are referred to as OB, standing for “Old Boy”. So that makes Tsunku – yes you guessed it – a Kinki Old Boy.


Image: Sankei News

Students were also treated to a guest MC performance by Olympic medal-winning swimmer Aya Terakawa, who herself graduated from the university.

▼29-year-old retired swimmer, Olympic bronze medallist, and now “Special MC” Aya Terakawa.


You can watch the KINDAI GIRLS in action, followed by Tsunku’s address, in this video from Sankei News.




Source: Itai News, Huffington Post JP, Sankei Biz
Images: Itai News, unless otherwise stated.   Video: Sankei News, via Youtube