Japan is the home of many things: beautiful art, delicious cuisine, popular music and the craziest game shows. Where else can you see a woman strap raw meat to her forehead and stick her head in a glass box with a komodo dragon?
That game show is called Iguana, and there are plenty more just as unique. There was even an American reality show that focused on these bizarre games – I Survived a Japanese Game Show. See some of our favorites and some crazy translations below.
Takeshi’s Castle (風雲！たけし城) was a big hit in the 80s. The host was popular Japanese celebrity, Takeshi Kitano – who challenged competitors to take on obstacles to reach him and win the game. Contestants faced water-gun assaults, mud pits and more. It was dubbed in English to air as Most Extreme Elimination Challenge in the United States.
Gaki no Tsukai (ガキの使い) featured a series of hilarious games within one big game show. One game was called Marshmallow Rubber Band – where contestants had to grab a marshmallow hanging out a string, with their mouth. But the whole time, they were restrained by a rubber band around their face. Another game required male contestants to recite elaborate tongue twisters. If they failed, they were hit in between the legs with a catapult machine. A particular segment, which also became popular in the U.S. as Silent Library, forced contestants to perform crazy actions in a library setting without laughing. Gaki no Tsukai is still airing and celebrated its 1,000th episode in 2010!
Sasuke, aka Ninja Warrior, is well-loved across the world. Competitors run through a challenging and entertaining obstacle course, which includes things like the warped wall, jumping spider and circle hammer. Only a few have ever completed the course to be named Sasuke All-Star!
There’s no doubt these shows are entertaining in Japan, but it looks like they have been moving into other cultures for years!
Tell us in the comments: Which of these shows would you most like to take part in?
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