I’m really getting in to a particular mini-series (ドラマ, dorama) on air at the moment in Japan. It’s 監査法人 (Kansahojin, “Auditor”) on NHK at 9PM each Saturday night. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a mini-series that is solely focused on that very sexy profession of auditing! Judged by all of my friends who are accountants I wasn’t really expecting much spice from this one. Much to my surprise, after having just watched the first three episodes (Episode 4 of 6 in total is screening tonight, Sat 5th July at 9pm), I’m finding myself pulled right into the story. Clearly NHK has timed the airing to clash with the Continue reading “Kansahojin” – New NHK TV Drama Series
The current recovery in the Japanese economy has been a long time coming. For over a decade, Japan was watched from overseas, with foreign money waiting for the recovery, which had to come sometime. That time is now, and the takeover of Japanese companies by foreign firms and foreign funds form many of the daily headlines. As do the measures by the Japanese companies to resist the same. Continue reading “Hagetaka” – Great New NHK TV Drama Series
This is the fifth and final video in our first series of “Only in Japan” videos.
Zebras, Tapes and Taxis is a mixture of a few weird “OIJ” scenes, that were not enough to make a full one minute video from, but nonetheless are still worthy of your Japanophile eyes, and are bound to bring a few chuckes.
The video consists of three themes: Zebras, Tapes and Taxis!
In most countries (at least USA, UK, Australia, and New Zealand) where roads are striped with black and white lines – parallel to the flow of the traffic – pedestrians have right of way, and cars must yield (stop) when someone is walking, or is about to walk across the road… Right? Wrong. Continue reading Video Series “Only in Japan”: Part 5 – Zebras, Tapes and Taxis
Here we are again, with the fourth installment in the Stippy “Only in Japan” Video series. This time we will explore a mysterious trait of Japanese cyclists – the fact that they fail to see the safety benefits of using bicycle helmets!
In many countries around the world, cyclists are obliged (sometimes forced by the law) to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. Throughout South East Asia it is common to see people without helmets, but this can be attributed to a lower level of safety consciousness than in more developed nations. Japan on the other hand Continue reading Video Series “Only in Japan”: Part 4 – Where’s Your Helmet?
In any look at Japanese culture a reoccurring theme is Japanese TV. Call it corny, crazy or just bizzare but which ever way you cut it, its interesting and can be a damn fine way to spend some quality veg out time. The very concept of a celebrity is taken to a new dimension in Japan, where people are famous for simply being umm … famous! In the west celebrities have a day job for which they become famous… ie actor, singer, comedian, young people in Japan however seem to skip the means and grow up aspiring to become simply “a celebrity”.
Japanese TV is very entertaining, one of my long time favourites has been Fuji TV’s ‘Fountain of Trivia‘ (トリビアの泉）a great show, since copied for the US market, where the hosts present to the panel a series of sometimes quite amazing trivial facts. The key is in the presentation of Continue reading Japanese TV and YouTube
UPDATE: Video no. 4 in this series is now available HERE.
How the weeks fly by! Here we are on our third of our weekly series of “Only in Japan” videos. Once again Simon Adams takes us on a mission to unravel the mystery of the “Orange Ball”.
They are round, colourful and embedded deep in the Japanese retail culture. Every bank and post office has two at each teller’s booth. They are hard to miss at convenience stores, and you wont enter another Japanese “gasoline stand” without seeing one. What are they? Continue reading Video Series “Only in Japan”: Part 3 – Orange Ball
This Japanese movie was released just a few days ago, on the 28th Oct 2006 by TBS. We thought we would just introduce it with some photos that you wont see anywhere else (You can click on all photos to enlarge them).
Twenty-one year old former high school baseball player, Kohei, learns that he is dying from cancer. He is told that he only has six months to live, and decides that he wants to do something daring, out on a limb. Continue reading Movie: “KISARAZU CATS EYE – World Series” (木更津キャッツアイ)
While showing reruns is the bread and butter of those little watched cable channels, recently, the subscribers of channel #739 have recently been lucky enough to re-live some wonderful memories from the golden age of Japanese broadcasting. You can almost feel in your bones the passion that the average Japanese housewife must have had to learn English back in the bubble era after a few seconds of watching the Zuiikin girls’ Eikawa lessons.
Produced almost three decades ago by Tongtong, the concept behind the Zuiikin girls is that by exercising while you are learning English, the muscles in your body will actually remember the new vocabulary for you. Not only did the producers aim to come up with practical lessons that prepare you for your next overseas trip, they seemed to be focusing on the kind of phrases that your average chikyu no arukikata will rarely tell you about. To watch the videos Continue reading Bust a move: Learning English the “Zuiikin” way…
Mao Asada was a phenomenon last winter, coming from relative obscurity to win the ISU (International Skating Union) Grand Prix Final. However, despite being the best on the adult circuit the ISU rules said she was too young (15 years old at the time) to compete at the Olympics, robbing her of the chance of glory in Turin. With such a sudden rise to fame it is no surprise to see Asada doing endorsements in the media. Nevertheless, what is most interesting about her latest television commercial, for the new Olympus digital camera μ, is Continue reading Olympus has Mao Asada Bopping to Punk Music
It has been more than a week since the first “Only in Japan” video, apologies for that. This week (keeping the weekly thing going notwithstanding), we would like to bring the second in the series, aptly named “Magic Hand” (マジックハンド）. Have you ever been so lucky to be involved with such a hand?
We believe that this is the first ever footage of a real uninhibited “Magic Hand” in its natural habitat. However, what is not so commonly known, is that you can find magic hands in the dark grimy corners of almost any train station in Japan. Unfortunately though, they are usually hidden away under lock and key, and only come out for the eyes of the lucky… Continue reading Video Series “Only in Japan”: Part 2 – Magic Hand