trash tv You
have seen Jackass and Crocodile Hunter, but you haven't seen
anything like the best of Japanese TV strangeness. It's a circus
of gross-outs, psychos, tits and masochists. The Japanese government
has cracked down on the most-sadistic game shows, and many of
the variety programs stocked with giggling, topless cuties have
been canceled. But some of the most outrageous scenes have been
preserved in underground video compilations such as Japanarama: Psycho TV From Japan.
For years, popular Japanese
game shows have showcased contestants willing to suffer minor
tortures in pursuit of prizes or fleeting fame. The popular
Sunday afternoon program Super Jockey invites bikini-clad spokesmodels
to sit in tubs of scalding water for free advertising time. On
since-forgotten variety shows, the producers speed along an endurance
contest by squeezing juice into the contestants' eyes and throats.
Two beefy guys use their heads as stoppers while pushing a bowling
ball to each other over an A-frame incline. A team of men
including a masochist who rubs his rump against the hot tailpipe
of a car compete to see who can best sully their undershorts.
The comedy team Downtown ties a man down, naked but for a pair
of boxers, and covers him with butter before releasing the hounds
to lick him silly. The producers of Susunu Denpa Shonen lock
a naked comedian in a one-room flat with no subsistence but for
whatever prizes he can win in magazine competitions. He lasts
Some of the programs prefer
psychological torture. London Hearts includes a segment called
"The Stinger." A guy telephones his girlfriend to break
a date at the last minute, then watches via hidden cameras as
a handsome actor attempts to seduce her immediately after she
takes the call. The kicker: The boyfriend observes the action
while sitting in the Stinger's apartment and listening to the
host analyze the woman's every move. For the finale, the camera
pans to the door as the Stinger arrives home alone or with the
cheating heart on his arm.
Where there is pain, there
must be pleasure. On Break, women wearing bikinis compete in
such future Olympic sports as tricycle racing, jumping to touch
a horizontal bar with their heads and performing push-ups over
a camera pit. The money shot comes when each competitor, exhausted,
collapses with her breasts against the glass. The contestants'
efforts are replayed in slow motion while a panel of B-grade
celebrity judges make appreciative remarks. The women who lose
are subjected to humiliations such as the face-distorting, balloon
inflated inside a stocking on your head until it pops torture.
In another segment, six women play shy while enjoying a nude
soak in a hot tub. The host asks a trivia question;
to answer, the women must stretch to reach the buzzer, revealing
This concept is almost as
simple as inviting American strippers to share their silicone
with astonished Japanese men, as occurred in a prime-time special
about the "wonders of the world." On Robamin, Chichi
Dasu Mimi ("Tit-Baring Mimi") appears live and unannounced
at noodle stands and gambling halls wearing a space-age metal
bikini. She presents the weather, then releases the hinged cups
covering her breasts. A moment later the cheek plates fly from
her ass. The men laugh and clap. The forecast, at the moment,
is sunny. You can order the videos from their creator.
Chip Rowe. This article first appeared in Playboy, April 2001.
Playboy. Reproduced by permission.
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