Revisiting Japanese Game Shows


Using autoethnographic methods to reflect on my initial experience with Honmadekka will allow me to understand Japanese cultural experience. By drawing from, and expanding on my personal experience I will uncover common cultural assumptions and how they affect our understanding.

“the world of Japanese game shows is best known as a technicolored whirlwind of half-naked bodies, sadomasochistic physical challenges, and the occasional whimsical bunny rabbit head. In short, any reasonable person would assume they couldn’t be real.” (Huffington Post)

Game shows first begun when television broadcasting in Japan started in 1950.To begin with, these game shows were ‘tame’, but became more complex as time went on.

Takeshi’s Castle (launched 1986) was the first Japanese game show to receive global syndication. This show’s contestants were regular people (unlike the celebrities that compete in most other Japanese game shows), and the show was produced to look like contestants were forced into…

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