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japanese 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 Scene from Super Jockeyfame. 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 15 months.
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 Happy camperasks a trivia question; to answer, the women must stretch to reach the buzzer, revealing their breasts.
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.

By Chip Rowe. This article first appeared in Playboy, April 2001.
© 2001 Playboy. Reproduced by permission.

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