Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Plus and Minus #2

Foreign residents in Japan have oft bemoaned the quality of Japanese television. The never ending stream of 'Gourmet' programmes (not a spelling mistake, I'm from The U.K), the always energetic 'Talents' who appear on the quiz and gourmet shows; the list goes on.

A lot of it is bad, but of course there are good programmes too, and I do try not to forget some of the utter cr*p that get's aired back in Blighty.


One of the best shows on T.V in Japan at the moment is "Pitagora Switch" (from Pythagoras). This is an NHK classic that presents childen with ideas of interconnectivity and synchronicity in involving and creative ways. (why am I watching kids T.V? If you want to learn to play with a language....)

The show is aired at the same time as "Nihongo de asobo" (Let's play with the Japanese language") which features the Hawaiian sumo wrestler 'konishiki' (long retired). This programme really does play with the language and is a must for any Japanese language learner who wants to get a grip with the (seemingly) thousands of onomatpoeia used in every day conversation.

Both shows being kids shows and well produced ones at that use action, dance and rhythm to put their points accross. Here is a link to one of the most famous skits in the show "Pitagora Switch":

"Algorithm Taisou"
(I don't know how to get a screen shot on here or I would)

Now the minus point:
Rhythm and dance have been used in horrendous ways in the past. One mail from a friend in the U.K contained the link below. It was a seemingly short lived English study programme from the 80's or early 90's. I have asked many people but nobody remembers it. My friend thought that the tall mugger with glasses looked like me. Sadly, he was right.

"Japanese English learning from days gone by"


Anonymous said...

I love Channel three in the morning too. But I wonder if you have seen the terrible (NHK I`m afraid) English learning show with the Beck lookilikey dancing to "green tea! --- Ulong tea!----" etc. that airs late at night.
Made me laugh out loud that some lucky fucker of a gaijin was actually getting paid for such nonsense and no-one will ever know back in his home country.

Nick Benwell said...

Amazing isn't it? Fantastic concept and production of the kids programs in Japanese then it turns into a circus for the English language learning. No wonder people look at us funny (*o*)V

Damon said...

I didn`t have time to watch the English learning link before...Wow that is the funniest thing I`ve ever seen, makes the one I was talking about seem high-brow. I love the girls in leotards saying "take anything you want" Brilliant teaching japanese girls to invite rape!
I love collecting old travel phrase books for their bizarre idea of phrases that might be useful, the best I saw, but could get unfortunately, was an old empire era one in Nepal that translated Nepali into English for the phrase "Excuse me sir but one does believe he has been eaten by a tiger." How I would love to use that oneday!

David Coll Blanco said...

Im agree guys!!

First time I visit Japan,I saw the TV and feel not so .....
But now everyday think about this guys, the japanese know how to make TV...entertainment and quiz KINGS!!!

And I dont understand what they say but I enjoy, so imagine if I learn japanese, only see my wife laughing and its contagious...

For me the best program its that one with the Chimpance and the Bulldog...Pan Kun and James....amzing!!!!! take a look at You Tube stuff...

Nick Benwell said...

That has to be a Tokyo programme. I have never seen it!

The subject of television for amusement is one thing, but the subject of advertising as news is another.

That's another post I think.

Alex said...

Pan-kun and James are on a show called Shimura Zoo (I forgot the name exactly, but it`s something like that). I forgot when it comes on but it`s usually early evening.

Nick Benwell said...

We all need to get out more!