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Fun Friday: Japanese TV Shows

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In this episode, Ami and I talk about our favorite Japanese TV shows. Watching Japanese TV shows regardless of you Japanese level is great way to improve your understanding of Japanese culture. It also gives you a common frame of reference to have more interesting conversations with Japanese people. Although Japanese TV is not so accessible outside of Japan, you can usually find extended clips on Youtube. You can also find some Japanese TV shows that have English subtitles.

Here is a list of some of the shows we talked about in the podcast:

Japanese TV Shows

1. 水戸黄門 Mito Kōmon

This is a samurai drama set in the Edo period featuring the hero Tokugawa Mitsukuni who roams Japan fighting injustice.

2. 空耳アワーSora Mimi Awa

Sora mimi awa is part of the Tamori Club TV show where listeners submit foreign songs that have sections that sound Japanese.

3. Smap x Smap

Smap X Smap is the long running variety show featuring the boy band Smap. One of the most popular sections of the show was Smap Bistro where the members would compete to cook the most delicious dishes for famous visiting celebrities.


4. ダウンタウンのガキの使いやあらへんで Dauntaun no gaki no tsukai ya arahende

“Dauntaun no gaki no tsukai ya arahende” A.K.A “Gaki Tsuka” is hosted by one of Japan’s most famous comedy duo “Downtown” who are  Hitoshi Matsumoto and Masatoshi Hamada.

5. 紅白歌合戦 Kōhaku Uta Gassen

This is the famous singing contest held by NHK as Japan celebrates the new year. This show is perhaps one of the most watched programs on Japanese TV and features famous singers from across Japan.


6. ナイトスクープ Naito Sukuupu (Knight Scoop)

Knight Scoop is a famous TV show from Kansai (Osaka) which features requests from viewers who need help with various random problems. The show is hosted by comedians and actors who visit viewers and try to help them out with their request. Invariably, hilarity ensues.

7. 関ジャニ-クロニクル Kanjani Kuronikuru

This variety show features the boy band Kanjani and their funny exploits. One section is the Dengon game know as Chinese whispers in English. Native English speakers whisper phrases to the band who usually mess us the message leading to some pretty funny results.


8. アメトーク Ame Tōku

Ame Talk is a weekly show that invites comedians to talk on various subjects.



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