"SAGEMON GIRLS," a promotional video for Yanagawa City in Fukoka Prefecture, known just as well for its unique tradition of hanging decorative balls called sagemon on strings during the Doll Festival as it is for its heritage of waterways and water parades, was hailed as a shining example of how to create an effective touristic promotion video.

Since it was released in February 2016, it has been viewed over 10 million times in Japan and abroad, the majority of foreign viewers coming mostly from Asia. Featuring three cute girls dolled up in colorful yukata skirt outfits with sagemon ornaments in their hair dancing to an upbeat electronic soundtrack while introducing the attractions of their town, the video was not only informative and entertaining, but also represented a labor of love made possible by the participation of countless residents, festival organizers, craftsmen and women, shop owners and staff, local shrines and temples, school staff and students -- indeed, it almost seems as if the entire town came together in support.

Now, riding on the coattails of their initial success, Yanagawa City and the Yanagawa Film Council have produced a follow up to their freshman effort with a video called: "SAGEMON GIRLS - RAIN"

In recognition of their popularity in Asia, they chose the Taiwanese town of Jiufen, known as the inspiration for Miyazaki Hayao's animated classic Spirited Away, as their location. Remarkably, the video was shot entirely in one take in one of the narrow lanes of the town's shopping district, and on a rainy night. Inspiration for the video came from a poem penned by Hakushu Kitahara, a poet with ties to Yanagawa City.

If the girls look different than in the first video, you're right. Starting afresh with a new cast of four, this is the new face of SAGEMON GIRLS who will now begin activities as an official idol unit promoting Yanagawa City.

The girls' choreography was created by air:man, a creative choreography unit with over 1,000 yearly contracts overseeing concerts, TV commercials and promotional videos.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.