He’s really settling into his new YouTuber gig.

Back in October former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe surprised everyone by launching his own YouTube channel. At the time it was unclear whether he’d really embrace the format or just use it as a mere campaign platform, but there were small signs he was getting into it, like this food video of a katsudon bento.

Granted that was still just flirting with the genre, since it’s basically just veiled stumping for the general election that was only a week away. Katsudon has the word “katsu” in it which is synonymous with “win” in Japanese, so in a way he’s more or less getting a little good luck for himself here.

However, this time he’s really outdone himself and posted a piano performance which appears to have no ulterior motive other than to entertain. The video was actually shot a while back to be used at the Japan Spirit Concert 2021 held last October. However, now he is sharing it with everyone on YouTube.

So, without further ado, here is the former-PM Abe performing Hana wo Saku on piano.

▼ The introduction lasts about a minute if you feel like skipping right to the action

Now, maybe my expectations were just really low, but… that was pretty good, wasn’t it? It wasn’t just technically sound, but he even seemed to put just the right subtle emotion into the song too.

For those unfamiliar, Hana wa Saku was a song created in the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake as a tribute to those lost, and was sung by a large cast of actors, singers, and celebrities in a We Are The World fashion.

Here is the original video for comparison.

Again, I’m having a hard time coming to terms with it, but I think I like Abe’s version better? To make things even more shocking, at the end of the video he admits to having given up piano back in first grade some 60 years ago. He says he only re-started recently, most likely after retiring from the position of PM in 2020.

I’m still having a hard time believing my own opinion about this, so let’s see what others online had to say.

“Wait a minute! He can play piano?”
“I cried a little.”
“He said he only played in elementary school, but I’m really impressed with his ability.”
“He seems like a totally different person.”
“He’s not just playing properly. He’s playing well.”
“It’s a Christmas gift from Abe!”
“Oh, he’s going full YouTuber now!”
“I so wanted him to say ‘please subscribe’ at the end.”
“Maybe AbePiano and PanPiano can have a collab.”

Others do seem to like it, so I guess the former head of state really does have some chops after all. Even non-fans of Shinzo Abe really have to hand it to him for this video, if for no other reason than to encourage him to inch even closer to the conventional YouTuber sphere.

Once we get that game stream out of him, he will have finally arrived. I feel like that Aomori apple game is a prime opportunity to get him to try.

Source: YouTube/あべ晋三チャンネル via Hachima Kiko
Top image: YouTube/あべ晋三チャンネル
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