Thai Woman’s TikTok Dance on Japanese Train Sparks Outrage

Thai Woman's Tik Tok Video Sparks Outrage with Inappropriate Dance on Japanese Train
A Thai woman dancing on a train in Japan sparks a cultural debate online. (photo: Khaosod)

A TikTok video of a Thai woman dancing on a train in Japan sparked outrage on social media from both Thai and Japanese netizens, who deemed her behavior insulting and disrespectful.

The video, posted to TikTok on Sunday, featured a Thai woman “Mouk” in a white cropped top and short skirt dancing to music on a train in Japan. Several Japanese passengers can be seen seated behind her, visibly discomforted by her behavior.

Thai social media users slammed her for the video, accusing her of disrespecting the train’s passengers and dancing to loud music, and making a bad impression of Thai people in a foreign country. Some also drew attention to the guidelines that are posted inside Japanese trains, which state that people should not make loud noises as they can disturb other passengers.

However, Mouk replied defensively to the critical comments on her feed, claiming that the Japanese passengers did not mind and that her mere act of dancing was not as horrible as others tried to make it out to be.

Replying to a comment about not having a proper public demeanor she says, “I have the right to dance, and this has nothing to do with you.”

“The Japanese people are very open-minded. Have you ever traveled to Japan? Why don’t you try expanding your horizons?” she adds.

Additionally, the news was covered by Japanese state media, including renowned news outlet Global News Asia.

Japanese social media users who were equally offended by the woman’s conduct commented negatively on the situation.

“If you can’t behave appropriately abroad, don’t even consider leaving Thailand. I genuinely feel ashamed for other Thai people,” commented a Japanese social media user.

“I wonder what would happen if a Japanese national did the same thing in a Thai BTS train,” another Japanese social media asks.

In addition to the video that went viral, Mouk’s TikTok account also featured several videos of her dancing with friends in different locations across Japan, such as public parks and busy pedestrian streets. However, these videos faced criticism for what some perceived as a blatant disregard for public etiquette, as they showcased the group dancing wherever they pleased.

After receiving only critical feedback from both Thai and Japanese media, Mouk decided to make her TikTok account private and posted an apology note on her Facebook account.

“I sincerely apologize for my actions on the train in Japan, where I danced without familiarizing myself with the proper etiquette for using public spaces. I want to express my regret to both the Thai and Japanese communities, as well as to the Japanese passengers who were inadvertently filmed in the clip without their consent.

“I deeply regret my thoughtless behavior and offer my apologies for the disrespectful and harsh words my friend and I used in response to the criticism we received,” says Mouk, in her apology note.

She also addressed that she and her friends have learned from this experience and will be much more careful in the future to ensure that such an incident does not reoccur and that she appreciates all the critiques and comments she received.

According to practiced train etiquette in Japan, talking loudly, which includes speaking on the phone or making loud noises, playing loud music, etc. on trains is considered poor manners and only on long-distance trains is it acceptable for people to talk on the phone on the decks between compartments. As a general rule, passengers are encouraged to set their phone to silent mode and the volume of headphones to low.