Since I teach Kindergarten to ninth grade, there’s a wide variety of things that are popular with my kids. So, I decided to split a long post into a couple of smaller posts based on topic: music, anime, and games. If you have any other ideas for topics, let me know in the comments!
The following list is in no particular order and is based on what I hear the kids talk about/reference most often.
Pikotaro — PPAP (Pen Pineapple Apple Pen)
“I have a pen, I have an apple. Unghhh. Apple-pen!” If you teach elementary-aged kids in Japan, chances are you know what this is. It’s not so popular with my middle schoolers, but I can barely make it through an elementary class without this coming up. All it takes is one student… and suddenly the whole class is singing and doing the gestures. It was cute the first time ’cause I had no idea what they were doing, but now I’m a little tired of it.
Yattemiyou by WANIMA
This song was used for the morning announcments at school last year, as well as a kind of theme song for the ninth graders; they sang it at the school’s culture festival and at their goodbye assembly. I gotta say, it’s pretty catchy.
The kids introduced me to this singer, and I love his songs! The videos they come with are always pretty fun to watch too.
For those of you in Japan:
For those of outside of Japan:
GReeeeN is a group of four guys who are dentists during the day. They’ve been active since 2002, and the members have never shown their faces in public as GReeeeN in order to protect their day jobs. Their songs are always in style.
As far as Western music goes, I think Ariana Grande is the favorite among my kids. They are familiar with a lot of American music, but Ariana Grande is the most talked about out of all of them. No idea why!
Just like many other countries, Japan has also been swept along by the K-pop wave. There are two groups in particular my kids talk about. The first is boy band BTS. Maybe you’ve heard of them, maybe you haven’t, but one things for sure — they are crazy popular.
The second K-pop group my kids talk about is the girl group Twice.
Hope you enjoyed the list! For those of you who also teach in Japan, what music do your kids listen to? Comment below!