Japanese folk singer Chiharu Matsuyama sang his hit song on a plane that remained grounded over an hour past its departure time at a Hokkaido airport Sunday in a bid to ease passengers' irritation, according to All Nippon Airways Co.
Matsuyama, a Hokkaido native, came forward and sang the popular opening line of "Ozora to Daichi no Naka de" (In-between a giant sky and the earth) through a microphone for in-flight announcements. The episode drew applause on social media, with some posts apparently from passengers saying it was a happy surprise.
The 61-year-old singer-songwriter was aboard ANA flight 1142 which was scheduled to depart New Chitose Airport near Sapporo, the capital of Japan's northernmost main island, for Osaka at 11:55 a.m. Sunday. The plane's departure was delayed until 1:03 p.m. due to effects of security checks.
"Everyone seems to be frustrated," Matsuyama told a flight attendant at around 12:50 p.m. Upon winning approval from the plane's captain, he sang some phrases of the song and said, "Please wait for a while."
A 26-year-old man on board the plane said, "When Mr. Matsuyama finished singing, cheers and applause erupted and his song brought smiles to many passengers' faces," adding, "I was really moved by his consideration and good voice."
Some people shared videos of his performance through Twitter and other social media.
"We're grateful for Mr. Matsuyama's kindness," said an ANA spokesperson.
Matsuyama talked about the episode on radio live later on Sunday. "What I did was meddling, but thinking about their feeling, I thought I had to do something," he said. "I appreciate the permission from the captain."