Okinawa-based Marines’ ‘USA’ dance video goes viral in Japan
By LEON COOK | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 20, 2018
A video of Marines dancing to a Japanese pop hit is a viral internet sensation with millions of views and hundreds of thousands of likes and retweets.
The 30-second clip — posted to Marine Corps Installations Pacific’s Japanese-language Twitter account last week — shows Marines gyrating to the chart-topping song “USA” by Okinawan group DA PUMP.
With its recurring lyrics of “C’mon baby, America!” and “C’-C’-C’-C’-C’-C’-C’-C’mon, baby U.S.A.,” the song is about Japan’s obsession with all things American.
In the video, which was filmed over a few days at various bases on Okinawa, Marines strut their stuff to the song in offices, warehouses and motor pools.
By Monday afternoon, it had been viewed more than 6 million times, with more than 357,000 likes and 144,000 retweets.
Japanese viewers posted more than 1,000 comments about the video, such as: “Marines are having fun. Great dance moves!” and “They look so cute with smiles!” Many asked to see a longer version of the clip.
“We expected this video to be popular,” said Ike Hirayasu, a Marine Corps social media manager on Okinawa. “But we’re overwhelmed with just how successful it’s been.”
In early 2017, MCIP released a video of Marines dancing to “Koi Dance,” a song played during the closing credits of a popular Japanese sitcom. That clip was viewed about 5 million times; however, the “USA” video has quickly outperformed it.
“We were very successful a few years ago with [“Koi Dance”], so we decided we’d try another,” Hirayasu said.
The song chosen for the latest video fits perfectly, he added.
“After all, what could be more 'USA' than Marines?” Hirayasu said.
Buzzfeed Japan profiled “USA” shortly after its release in June and said some listeners found the lyrics “outdated.” However, it quickly made its way onto the Japanese pop charts, where it’s stayed for 11 weeks and peaked at No. 2.
Stripes Okinawa correspondent Shoji Kudaka contributed to this report.