Popular Japanese Game Shows

Japanese game shows aren't all appropriate for the family. Some of them qualify for an adults-only rating. The Japanese took the American game show formula and turned it into something quite strange, but funny. With outrageous contests that challenge the physical as well as the mental abilities of the guests, the average Japanese game show offers solid entertainment, if you're not easily offended. Expect the contestants to face down some fears and find themselves in humiliating situations, and the hosts to taunt the losers. Here are a few of the tamer Japanese game shows.

  • Marshmallow Eating Contest: This show is about how fast five men can eat hanging marshmallows. This is kind of like our apple eating contests during the holidays. Unlike our contest, these game show contestant's faces are restrained by bungee cords.
  • Bug Game: The object of this game is to push a sliding door down the length of a track. Each time a contestant takes his or her turn, the distance increases. If you fail to push the door all the way down the track, a woman breathes dragon-breath in your face. All of the contestants are dressed like bugs.
  • Quiet Library: In this Japanese game show, the contestants sit in a library. They randomly draw cards, one of which is marked with an X. The person that draws the X card must accept a challenge. The objective of this game show is to remain quiet and not laugh while the person who accepted the challenge does something funny.
  • Komodo Dragon: In this Japanese game show, women tie raw meat to their heads. They stick their heads into a glass box with a komodo dragon. The last woman standing wins.
  • Unbeatable Banzuke: This show pushes contestants to the limit of their physical abilities. Contestants attempt to make it through a nearly impossible obstacle course, which could include hand walking across a conveyor belt or crossing a path of sponge blocks that would collapse if the contestant's balance wasn't just right. If someone beat a particular course, the producers designed a harder version of it.
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