This old video shows a digital simulation, not genuine fireworks in Japan for New Year's 2022

·2 min read

A video with millions of views is circulating in social media posts that claim it shows an elaborate fireworks display in Japan for New Year's 2022 celebrations. In reality, the footage was created in at least 2014 using animation software.

"Japan's Fireworks Display 2022", reads the title of a YouTube video posted on January 1 and viewed more than 40,000 times.

The footage shows fireworks in front of Mount Fuji's silhouette, with music playing in the background.

Text overlaid on the video reads: "Japan New Year FireWorks are so" alongside a 'fire' emoji.

Screenshot of the false post taken on January 4, 2022

The video racked up more than three million views in similar posts on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter here, here and here.

Comments suggest some online users believed the footage showed a genuine fireworks display.

"Japan leads the way in the most colorful and best fireworks show in 2022", one wrote.

"Unbelievable... I love Japan", another commented.

However, the clip was digitally created.

Keyword searches found the footage corresponds to a YouTube video posted on November 5, 2014.

The video's description says it is a "simulation" and links to the website of fireworks simulation software FWsim.

According to FWsim, the tool allows users to "create firework displays" and "build firework effects".

Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in misleading posts (left) and the YouTube video from 2014 (right).

screenshot comparison of the video in misleading posts (L) and the YouTube video from 2014 (R)

Lukas Trötzmüller, the creator of FWsim, said that the fireworks in the video were generated using his software.

"I can confirm that this fireworks show was designed with my program," Trötzmüller told AFP on January 4.

The video was uploaded by a user called "hiramu55bocaboca".

The same user, whose real name is Hisashi Kinoshita, posted a similar video in 2015 that was misrepresented as footage of a real-life fireworks display.

The same false claim was also debunked by HoaxEye.

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