Lights, Camera, Stretch: Viral 2010 for YouTube Japan

The second most-watched video on YouTube in Japan this year is of an exercise routine. Not just any old exercise routine, though–it’s a take by sportswear maker Reebok on the same one that rules state broadcaster NHK’s airwaves for up to 10 minutes every morning.

The daily televised workout has long been a staple of the real tube and is fondly known across the country: the current exercise routine on NHK is so dated it was originally born as a radio program in 1928. At the start of the YouTube smash–1.8 million views and counting–the same piano tinkle as is used in the NHK routine is heard, and a trio of spandex clad sedentary women appear, dressed in vivid colored tops, just like on the real show. It’s not what would qualify as a strenuous workout: The routine starts with wrist flapping and ends with marching steps while the said ladies remain seated.

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