Following reception by the Japanese government, it was the Kiwi Brothers’ turn to say hello.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrived in Japan this week, where she was greeted by a delegation from the Japanese government upon arrival at the airport. After settling in at her accommodations in Tokyo, Ardern’s first event in the city was a function hosted by agricultural company Zespri, the world’s top seller of kiwis.

Zespri’s Japanese division, naturally, has created cute mascot characters for it local marketing. Known as the Kiwi Brothers, the green and gold siblings appear in ads and in-store promotional displays, and have built up a respectably sized fanbase in cuteness-loving Japan.

▼ The Kiwi Brothers

So of course the Kiwi Brothers were present at Zespri’s reception. The pair posed for photos with Ardern, who tried her hand at traditional Japanese brushstroke calligraphy by writing “kiwi” (キウイ) in katakana script.

Though the Kiwi Brothers didn’t do any calligraphy of their own, they also took part in cultural activities at the event by performing a dance routine. If you’re imagining them doing some sort of quickstep jig to a commercial jingle, though, that couldn’t be farther from the truth, as instead the two giant sentient kiwifruits danced to this somber tune, as posted to Twitter by New Zealand reporter Henry Cooke.

It’s a surreal scene, as the Kiwi Brothers sway to the sounds of a plaintive piano and violin. The song, written by composer Rentaro Taki in 1901, is titled “Kojo no Tsuki,” or “Moon Over the Ruined Castle,” and its lyrics are a melancholy reflection on lost glory while looking at an abandoned samurai fortress.

▼ “Kojo no Tsuki”

Over the years, “Kojo no Tsuki” has been covered by multiple foreign artists, including German rock band Scorpions and Swedish guitarist/SoraNews24 quasi-correspondent Yngwie Malmsteen.

As to exactly why “Kojo no Tsuki” was picked as a song for the Kiwi Brothers to dance to, we may never know, but it’s another sign that in Japan cute and cultural aren’t mutually exclusive.

Source: Twitter/@DiscoverNZ_JP via IT Media
Featured image: Twitter/@DiscoverNZ_JP
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