Japanese TV: Breaking steel with their bare buttocks
Posted by ampontan on Monday, February 26, 2007
After two serious posts in a row, it’s about time for something trivial. That’s a fair description of the Japanese TV excerpt a friend in London sent to me by e-mail.
He sent it in a Realplayer file, but I found it on YouTube, and that’s easier for me to link to. About 50 seconds long, it shows two young women breaking things with their bare buttocks. Here it is.
The announcer says of the second show, “…it airs regularly every week…” implying that it is broadcast now. The introductory title identifies it as Chojin Koroshiamu (Superhuman Coliseum). It did air weekly on TBS–from October 22, 1994, to March 4, 1995—a period of fewer than six months.
I can’t catch whether he says it had a 15% share or a 50% share, but in any event, Wikipedia Japan says it was cancelled because of poor ratings. It was called a “tournament show”. Based on the clip and Japanese TV in general, I assume that meant it featured people competing against each other with party tricks.
This announcer is talking over another announcer who dubbed in an English translation of the dialogue between host and guest. Somebody somewhere thought it would be terribly clever if a fake Japanese accent were used for the dubbed dialogue. (Haw haw, I gladuate from U Shi Eru A.) I suppose 10-year-old boys would find it clever.
What have I been saying about the Japanese not getting baseline respect?
Whoever wrote the announcer’s script is surprised that the show aired during “the family hour”. (It did: 7:00 p.m. to 7:54 p.m. on Saturdays) But that remark says more about the latent American Puritan streak than it does about Japanese family values.
The Japanese have never been particularly squeamish about the body to begin with. If those buttock shots appeal to your prurient interest, all I can do is paraphrase the Japanese proverb and say that some insects like the tade plant (There’s no accounting for taste). A local parent objecting to that show would probably focus on the stupidity rather than the bare bottoms. And let’s not forget that starting from the age of 0, Japanese are exposed to the exposed buttocks of sumo wresters for several hours a day every afternoon, 15 days straight, six times a year. On the government-affiliated TV network.
It’s junk of course, but everyone in Japan watching it knows that up front. That puts them one up the folks in other countries whose butts are glued to the seats to watch bilge they delude themselves into thinking is actually worthwhile.
Somebody stop me before I get serious again!