Fact Check: Video of Japanese students performing synchronized walking shared as Tokyo Olympics closing ceremony

Tokyo Olympics 2020 officially ended on 8 August 2021. The closing ceremony included a ska band on a stage with people dancing....

By Satya Priya BN  Published on  10 Aug 2021 3:13 PM GMT
Fact Check: Video of Japanese students performing synchronized walking shared as Tokyo Olympics closing ceremony

Hyderabad: Tokyo Olympics 2020 officially ended on 8 August 2021. The closing ceremony included a ska band on a stage with people dancing, juggling, and soccer players moving around an elevated stage in the center of the stadium. Medals for the marathon were presented — an Olympic tradition — followed by traditional Japanese dances inside the stadium and on the videoboard. An opera singer performed during the International Olympic Committee anthem, then the transition to Paris 2024 that included a flyover in front of thousands of fans in front of the Eiffel Tower.

In the midst of this, an amazing video of people performing synchronously to form various shapes, including the Olympic rings is going viral, claiming that it shows the closing ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics.

Facebook users who shared the video wrote, "Wonderful closing ceremony at the Olympics like each person was digitally programmed."



Archive links: https://perma.cc/9DW8-57KC

Fact Check:

The claim that the viral video shows the closing ceremony of Tokyo Olympics 2020 is FALSE.

We extracted keyframes from the video and performed a Google reverse image search. We found that the viral video is old and had earlier been shared as a performance called 'Shuudan Kouduou' in Japanese meaning 'Synchronous walking'.

https://www.messynessychic.com/2019/05/02/where-has-the-japanese-art-of-synchronised-walking-been-all-our-life/

According to a report in apost.com published in January 2021, synchronized walking is only just gaining popularity outside of Japan thanks to a video that went viral back in 2012. The video, which has been covered by publications around the world, features 77 students at Japan's Nippon Sports Science University in Tokyo walking in a mesmerizing routine.

The report also states that according to The Irish Times, 11,000 spectators gathered at the university to watch the synchronized walking performance, known in Japanese as "Shuudan Koudou" (集団行動) or "collective action", unfold.

Dressed in pink blazers and blue pants, the 77 Japanese students walk backward, forwards, and every which way in strict formation, which is almost reminiscent of the marching at military parades.

The university and its students have been organizing Shuudan Koudou performances for the past five decades since 1966. While information about Shuudan Koudou and its history is sparse on the internet, some publications, such as the International Business Times, have pointed to Japanese culture as an explanation for the unusual sport. Japanese people, the publication claims, appreciate uniformity, which is encapsulated in the Japanese saying, "The nail that sticks out gets hammered down." While it's easy to fall into stereotypes about other cultures, it turns out that there is some truth to this claim.

According to an article published in Irish times on 15 November 2013, the event that took place in Japan's Nippon Sports Science University has taken walking to a whole new level. Some 11,000 people gathered at the university to witness "Shudankodo" (collective action) which has gained massive popularity after a YouTube video went viral in 2012. But Nippon Sports Science University said the activity is nothing new and that they've been doing it since 1966.

It took the 77 students five months - at three days per week - of exercise to get them in shape for the performances. The practice drills saw them walking up to 1,200km.

The viral video can also be seen in this article.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/asia-pacific/japanese-students-take-walking-to-a-new-level-1.1596177

The viral video was also published in several other articles.

https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/01/japanese-synchronized-walking-is-a-thing-and-its-completely-nuts/

Here are the highlights of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 closing ceremony published by the Olympics YouTube channel.


The claim that the viral video shows the closing ceremony of Tokyo Olympics 2020 is FALSE.

Claim Review:Video of Tokyo Olympics closing ceremony
Claimed By:Social Media Users
Claim Reviewed By:Newsmeter
Claim Source:Social Media
Claim Fact Check:False
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