To make matters stranger, the video is part of a promotional tie-in with a popular candy company designed to cheer on a certain group of students.

Mount Koya in Wakayama Prefecture is best known as the headquarters of the Koyasan Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism, founded by the monk Kukai 1,200 years ago. The temple complex is designated as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range,” so it always has a steady stream of visitors–and with the release of a peculiar new commercial, there’s another incentive to visit as well.

The commercial starts out unassuming enough, showcasing serene views of Koyasan Ekoin’s temple grounds and even birdsong. We see what looks like a solemn group of monks (keep reading) about to begin some kind of ceremony, when all of a sudden the bass drops, candy pops, and we can only give them mad props as they break into dance. See the video in all of its glory below.

First, the routine was choreographed by actual Buddhist monk and performer Ryushin Takiyama, whose “Koyasan x Dance Project” aims to share the culture, history, and beliefs of Koyasan through the visual and performing arts. He often blends elements of contemporary street dance with traditional Buddhist hand gestures (mudras) as part of his characteristic style. In this video, he leads a group of local Koyasan High School students dressed in Buddhist robes in the dancing. Similarly, the decidedly non-religious music they perform to is titled “EDM Sutra Remix” and was composed by Kenta Higashioji, an anime and video game music composer.

So what was the purpose of the video? It was actually a prayer dance to cheer on students studying for upcoming entrance exams. Takiyama partnered with candy company Morinaga to incorporate their popular line of Ramune candy into the routine as well, which can be seen when the students each eat a piece in unison as part of the choreography. As demonstrated in the behind-the-scenes video, that wasn’t as easy to accomplish as it looks!

▼ Making-of video with English subtitles

As part of a limited tie-in, a Morinaga representative also brought Ramune candy to Koyasan Ekoin and had it blessed by a monk in an actual fire ritual. 100 students who participate in a Morinaga Twitter campaign between December 24 and January 4 will be entered into a drawing to win this blessed candy, and the first 240 students who actually visit Ekoin in person will also receive packs of larger-than-usual Ramune candy as exam good luck charms.

We don’t know, KitKats–it seems like you have some serious competition now in the realm of good luck candy.

Source: Twitter/@morinaga_angel via Curazy
Top image: YouTube/森永製菓
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