I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Pikotaro -- PPAP: Pen-Apple-Pineapple-Pen

The pineapple: grand for upside-down cakes and Canadian pizza and sundaes. And it can be the go-to organic container for Chinese dishes such as the sweet-and-sour pork above and even fried rice in Japan. Not too sure about pens and apples, though.

After my niece's birthday dinner on Sunday, we all went back to my brother's place for some of that birthday cake. There, the bonnie lass gleefully showed me a video of this lantern-jawed fellow by the name of Pikotaro(ピコ太郎)who looked like he was dressed by some woman from Sugamo, Tokyo performing a (mercifully) short-but-sweet number called "PPAP: Pen-Apple-Pineapple-Pen". It's just some minimalist technopop paired with an English vocabulary lesson for the kiddies that was released as a digital download single only a few days ago although the video seems to have already gotten around like a virus. Canadian singer-troublemaker Justin Bieber has given it his star of approval, and apparently it has made the rounds on the news channels such as BBC and CNN. I guess even they need a break from talking about Donald and Hillary once in a while. In other words, it has become a thing.

The video above has so far had over 83 million views. I guess I should say that it has become a meme although I don't think it's gonna quite reach the heights of PSY's "Gangnam Town".

Pikotaro is supposedly a 53-year-old singer-songwriter from Chiba Prefecture although he has just popped up in the pop culture world. Actually, he is the creation of 43-year-old comedian Daimaou Kosaka(古坂大魔王)from Aomori Prefecture (real name: Kazuhito Kosaka/古坂和仁) who started out as one-third of a comedic trio called Sokonuke AIR-LINE(底ぬけAIR-LINE)in 1991 before taking a break in 2003 to form a techno unit which was called New Bushidou Ravers. The Ravers helped produce club events and even assisted in remixes for singers such as Ami Suzuki(鈴木亜美). Kosaka revived his comedic career in 2008.

One of his other characters was Mendokusai Otoko(メンドクサイ男...The Troublesome Man)who you can see in action above with a backing techno track.

Speaking of celebrity Canadian admirers, even Drake from Toronto has gotten into the act, something that my niece also showed me while we were eating our cheesecake.

Not sure how far this "PPAP" phenomenon will go but if it makes it to the end of the year, I think it's guaranteed that Pikotaro will show up on the Kohaku Utagassen in some form or other. Pens, apples, pineapples and all.


  1. Hi J-Canuck.

    I had a feeling that PPAP would make its way to this blog eventually. As you said it spread like a virus and for a while it was quite an annoyance/fad here in Singapore. Even popular radio DJ duo The Muttons used the tune when reporting the morning traffic. Personally I find PPAP and the memes it spawned quite amusing, but I think 50 or so seconds of it is just right - can you believe someone made a 1 hour loop of that "song"?! As for Pikotaro's Kohaku appearance, perhaps he'd be on as a guest; I highly doubt NHK will allow Kosaka's creation to be an official competitor.

    I think you nailed it there with Pikotaro's dressing but let me add a little more to your description: dressed by some woman from Sugamo with clothes from the thrift store/what's left in the salvation army bargain bin.

    By the way, that sweet and sour pork looks pretty good; for that matter so does that cheese cake in your Pinky and the Killers article - happy birthday, J-Canuck! :)

    1. Hi, Noelle.

      Yes, I don't think it would ever be included as an official entry in the Kohaku lest it truly be the end of the world as we know it. Having even 15 minutes of it on loop would be enough to induce permanent brain damage. :)

      Seeing that wardrobe on Pikotaro immediately had me remembering some of the loud clothing I saw selling in Sugamo. I think that garb goes in the same category as some of the blue rinse hair I've seen on a few old ladies from time to time.

      The cheesecakes were good but they are starting to get somewhat rich for my blood which is why I usually just eat them twice a year. Thanks for the birthday wishes!


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.