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Editor’s Note: The original incident by an underage student was never a criminal/court case. To avoid further cyber bullying, this article doesn’t give any mention about his real name.
The Colombia Pose, better known as “Answer: Colombia” (Japanese: 答: コロンビア, Kotae: Colombia) or “Colombia” (コロンビア) simply, refers to the victory pose by a Japanese college student who became to a subject of online mockery due to his poor intelligence and careless post on a social network service.
This impressive pose with a smug look is one of the symbolic icons in Japanese online parodies after his incident in 2006.
The man who gave the name “Colombia” to this pose was a 19-year-old college student, one of the 4 contestants in a Japanese TV quiz show Panel Quiz Attack 25 aired on October 1st, 2006. He performed it at moment of deciding the winning of the game at this question: “What is the South American country of sharing boundaries over land with Panama in Central America?” Yes, the answer is “Colombia”.
From during on air, he got a much attention among some 2channel users watching the show because he made many wrong answers in spite of easy questions arranged for college students. However, he luckily succeeded to win the game by the help of rules of Panel Quiz and get prizes worth several hundred thousand yen with that smug look.
Some of 2channel users were very irritated to this poor intelligence winner. To mock at him, they searched his personal information on the web by his name and the college’s name which were announced in the show, and they identified his account on a Japanese social network service mixi. Then, they found out that he made a confession of his cheating in a qualifying test for the show in his diary post which was uploaded on June 19th in that year.
On the Japanese web in those days, mixi had caught much attention for its dishonorable fame, which was led by many ridiculous user’s diary confessing drunk/no-licence driving, underage alcohol/smoking, or something illegal activities. So, it was also a natural thing that his diary made a headline on there.
His confession to a cheating immediately began spreading through the web via a wiki page for his suspicions launched by 2channel users. Within a half day after finishing the show, he forced to face a heavy storm of criticism not only on 2channel, mixi and comments in YouTube videos recording his poor performance at the show. Quite a few people sent claims to the TV station and the college he belonged to, and argued he had to return the winner’s prize.
In a reflection of this heavy criticism against him, even gossip newspapers quickly reported this incident. In those reports, the TV station and the college commented that he claimed to each of them: “it is never true, but just a joke for my friends.”, “I deeply regret my carelessness.” Besides, the college had to promise further investigation because he also confessed to alcohol drinking in another post in his mixi diary.
His article appeared on the front page of a Gossip news paper Tokyo Sports
However, there was no additional report by news media. And because the TV station decided not to do further investigations believing his claims, People weren’t able to know the sequel of this incident. Of course, no one of them believed his excuse.
Throughout the incident, his victory pose, holding both of fists with a smug look, gained a much presence among the Japanese internet users. And due to its caption, the pose itself became to be known as the “Colombia” pose.
Today, few people remember him. But, “Colombia” is the magical answer that makes everything funny, and its pose is one of the symbolic icons in the Japanese online parodies. 2channel has many Shift-JIS arts for Colombia made by anonymous users. There are Colombia Image Generators utilizing the original picture in image macro style or superimposing “Answer: Colombia” to other images like Brazzers. And many illustrations with Colombia motifs have been uploaded to the Japanese illustrators community pixiv and niconico Seiga.
2channel Shift-JIS Art
Besides, even Google image search suggests his victory pose in the top of search results for the term “コロンビア”.
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Among people outside of Japan, probably the most well-known instance of “Colombia” is Cirno’s one in the flash animated video for the very popular Touhou Project remix song Cirno’s Perfect Math Class, which was produced by IOSYS and TETLA-POT in 2008.
For more information about this song, please check the KYM entry for Cirno’s Perfect Math Class.
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