A couple of weeks ago, this clever and funny video from Beppu, in Ōita Prefecture, appeared on youtube. The whole thing is pretty tongue-in-cheek, showing a clearly fictitious amusement park that is one big hot spring ‘in motion’– picture roller coasters with a hot tub in each car. Just the idea of it was funny.
The video takes an interesting turn at the end though– the Mayor of Beppu appears and convincingly promises “if this video gets 1 million views, we will make the Spamusement park a reality!”
After the video hit 1 million views in just four days (not really a stretch for a popular video nowadays), people started asking questions of the mayor– was he serious? Is this something they can really pull off? Is it practical? Even if he’s dreaming of making it a reality, many folks have doubts.
The news story below shows some of the behind the scenes from making the original video (shot with 150 local citizens casted as extras), as well as comments from the Mayor about where things are at.
Anyway– the name of the park proposed in the video ‘湯〜園地 yu~enchi’, is a clever turn of phrase, using the ‘yu’ for hot water (お湯) instead of the ‘yuu’ that leads off the three character word for amusement park ‘遊園地 ゆうえんち’ (‘to play’ 遊ぶ).
Get it? “Hot water amusement park” = “spamusement park”.
This kind of wordplay is one of the things that I absolutely love about Japanese— I abuse bad puns like an annoying uncle, so this is right up my alley. Plenty of fodder for whiteboard practice in this story!
For what it’s worth, I hope they build it:) I’ll just throw this out there: if this blog post gets one million views, I promise that I’ll be at the grand opening of the 湯〜園地 park next year! (LOL).
FYI– at this point, the original video is barely two weeks old and already has over 2 million views!