Japanese TV and YouTube

First Japanese TVIn 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 course, and you have to watch the full analysis for the effect, but sometimes there are some gems like “The last meal of the last emperor of China before he died was … Chicken Ramen”, “The first ever Tour de France winner, cheated in the race the following year by getting on a train”, and “If you shoot a Magnum .44 (the most powerful handgun in the world) at Japanese samurai sword head on, the bullet will split in two”. All true.

Another fun one is watching out for western celebrity sell outs a la that great movie, Lost in Translation; Silvester Stallone selling Nippon Ham, Brad Pit and his Edwin Jeans, Bruce Willis for Eneos Service Stations, the list goes on with the best being maintained over on Japander.com.

For those of us living out of country YouTube provides a great way to browse through some classic Japanese TV, that was of course until a couple of weeks ago when YouTube deleted 29,549 videos. “A total of 29,549 videos were deleted from video streaming site YouTube following a request from copyright-related rights organizations, NHK and other broadcasters, the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC) said. The collective request to delete the videos was made by 23 businesses and organizations. Parties included public broadcaster NHK and private television stations.” There are still a lot of great Japanese TV clips on YouTube but the crack down has officially begun.

Why Japanese broadcasters feel threatened by a lot of 5 minute long TV clips being posted on the internet is little questionable, surely these little snippets are a great way to wet the appetite and make you want to watch more. And for the vast majority of the planet who don’t speak Japanese what’s the harm in sharing a bit of civilized, Japanese ‘TV’ culture with them?

8 thoughts on “Japanese TV and YouTube”

  1. Was it only Japan who requested those deletions? I wonder which poor guy had the job of going through finding them all.. They will be replaced with more in a couple of weeks! It is just too easy to add videos to YouTube. How can it be controlled. It is like trying to keep porn off the internet. Long live broadband..

  2. I think I remember reading somewhere that one of the TV stations (it might have been TV Asahi) was still trying to work out what youtube was and would worry about their taisaku (what they would do about it) afterwards…

  3. Just when you thought you were safe, it seems that mobiles are not sacred either. See today’s Nikkei. An excerpt here:

    Dai Nippon System Deters Illegal Video Viewing On Cell Phones

    TOKYO (Nikkei)–Dai Nippon Printing Co. (7912) has developed a system that uses smart cards inserted into mobile phones to prevent illegal viewing of for-pay videos.

    The new system incorporates smart cards into billing management networks. Mobile phone users can watch a video on their phone only after payment is confirmed by the card. Videos that have been received illegally will not play because the smart card will not confirm payment.

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