age no bar

Videos: 'Grandfather-Pop' and break-dancing grandmothers are celebrating age in Japan

The elderly pop idols are confronting the population decline with positivity.


Does the road to adventure end with old age?

Five elderly men in Kochi – not in India but Japan – which has the second-highest proportion of elderly citizens in the country, don’t think so at all. Instead, they are celebrating how far they’ve made it in life with a pop music video.

Collectively, they are called G-Pop aka “Grandfather-Pop”, part of the Nippon Positive Project.

“When was my first kiss? When was it? I totally forgot it. Oh my god,” goes the lyrics of the song I was Young, as the members of an average age of 68.2 years embrace their age with humour.

The groovy grandpas go on to boast about how the people of Kochi prefecture are doing fine thanks to their secret medicine for long life—the local specialties such as bonito (fish), yuzu (a fruit), and Tosa sake.

This isn’t the first time they made age look like some number. In 2016, their debut song Kourei Banzai! (“Hooray, Old Age!”) received over 370,000 views in three weeks on YouTube. The lyrics in the Japanese song used humour to promote tourism in Kochi.

“Kochi-ken, this is how it is. One out of 3 people are over 65. But lively, lively. Everyday is lively…Even if I stay up late, I still wake up at 5:30.”  

Little did G-Pop know that they would truly become “All Stars,” with second careers as pop idols. Some members hold full time jobs – one is active in fishing and the other in bamboo processing companies.

Embracing this new beginning gives the older generation a new lease on life — and grandmothers are not far behind.

If G-Pop is to make active ageing look positive, three elderly women in Japan are taking it to a different level — by participating in underground hip-hop dance scene.


In the video below, they can be seen popping in kimono and jackets to American singer Bruno Mars’ hit 24K Magic. Along with the signature moves from the Mars’ music video, the trio pull off the robot and the worm — two forms of break dance.

In the lead is “Tori”, a 61-year-old grandmother whose bio says that she has been dancing for over ten years. This video of her locking and popping proves that it’s never old to break it down.

Dancing alongside her are 56 year-old “Mash” and 59 year-old “Tachiflower” who dance together at events and on TV commercials and underground dance contest (video below) under the name “Bamboo Shoot”.


The first geriatric act to make waves in Japan were KBG84, a troupe of 33 singers with an average age of 84 from the remote, coral-fringed island of Kohama in Okinawa.

The islanders released their first single Come on and Dance, Kohama Island (video below) in 2015 which shot them to popularity in Tokyo.


A rapidly ageing society is pushing the Japanese government to introduce innovative programs — from comprehensive long-term-care insurance to robotics. Looks like senior citizens don’t want to be left out of pop culture either.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Watch Ruchir's journey: A story that captures the impact of accessible technology

Accessible technology has the potential to change lives.

“Technology can be a great leveller”, affirms Ruchir Falodia, Social Media Manager, TATA CLiQ. Out of the many qualities that define Ruchir as a person, one that stands out is that he is an autodidact – a self-taught coder and lover of technology.

Ruchir’s story is one that humanises technology - it has always played the role of a supportive friend who would look beyond his visual impairment. A top ranker through school and college, Ruchir would scan course books and convert them to a format which could be read out to him (in the absence of e-books for school). He also developed a lot of his work ethos on the philosophy of Open Source software, having contributed to various open source projects. The access provided by Open Source, where users could take a source code, modify it and distribute their own versions of the program, attracted him because of the even footing it gave everyone.

That is why I like being in programming. Nobody cares if you are in a wheelchair. Whatever be your physical disability, you are equal with every other developer. If your code works, good. If it doesn’t, you’ll be told so.

— Ruchir.

Motivated by the objectivity that technology provided, Ruchir made it his career. Despite having earned degree in computer engineering and an MBA, friends and family feared his visual impairment would prove difficult to overcome in a work setting. But Ruchir, who doesn’t like quotas or the ‘special’ tag he is often labelled with, used technology to prove that differently abled persons can work on an equal footing.

As he delved deeper into the tech space, Ruchir realised that he sought to explore the human side of technology. A fan of Agatha Christie and other crime novels, he wanted to express himself through storytelling and steered his career towards branding and marketing – which he sees as another way to tell stories.

Ruchir, then, migrated to Mumbai for the next phase in his career. It was in the Maximum City that his belief in technology being the great leveller was reinforced. “The city’s infrastructure is a challenging one, Uber helped me navigate the city” says Ruchir. By using the VoiceOver features, Ruchir could call an Uber wherever he was and move around easily. He reached out to Uber to see if together they could spread the message of accessible technology. This partnership resulted in a video that captures the essence of Ruchir’s story: The World in Voices.


It was important for Ruchir to get rid of the sympathetic lens through which others saw him. His story serves as a message of reassurance to other differently abled persons and abolishes some of the fears, doubts and prejudices present in families, friends, employers or colleagues.

To know more about Ruchir’s journey, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Uber and not by the Scroll editorial team.