Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

Written by Brian Ashcraft

Westerners often say Japanese TV is “odd.” It’s not, really—even less so once you understand what people are actually saying. That doesn’t mean that peculiar or unexpected things don’t sometimes happen.

The Japanese word “hapuningu” (ハプニング) uses the English loan word “happening” to refer to unexpected events. It could be the TV producers who don’t foresee these moments or it could even be the audience being surprised by the broadcast.

For example, the above TV news image shows a computerized rendering of a “cosplaying thief” who was decked out in a black mask, a woman’s bathing suit, and fishnet tights at the time of his arrest.

Allow me an aside: I would say that one of the big differences between Japanese television and, let’s say, American television is the sheer number of cooking shows or segments with people either going to restaurants or eating food. This has its roots in the country’s love of eating and could even be related to how, in the years during and after World War II, it knew what it’s like not to have food.

Okay, back on topic. Here’s a look back at some of the more interesting, amusing, and unforeseen televised moments from over the years. These unexpected scenes are not unique to Japan and occur wherever there are televisions and humans, but many of these have even turned into memes, earning their place in the Japanese internet Hall of Fame.

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

Just a sumo wrestler checkin’ the computer. Nothing else to see here. Move along.

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

Just don’t look behind you. M’kay?

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

Are you an otaku? “No, I’m not an otaku.”

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

We’re looking for this man. He’s about 30 years old, around 180cm tall, and has underwear on his face.

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

The ice cream was delicious, she said.

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

“This was certainly different from what we had predicted,” said the man who oversaw the earthquake test.

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

“When you go to daycare, what do you want to do?” “Poop.”

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

“They’re selling lots of things people don’t need,” filmmaker Michael Moore said in Tokyo’s geek district, Akihabara.

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

The sun icons spell out “エロ” (“ero”), which means “erotic” or “erotism” in Japanese. (I’m not entirely convinced this was broadcasted, but it’s become an iconic meme image in Japan.)

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

How to avoid urinal sensor detection. Good to know.

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

“You mean, seven times eight isn’t thirty-two?”

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

“My father.” (The drawing reads “Papa and Mama.”)

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

“Merry Christmas.” (In Japan, Christmas is a big “date night.”)

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

NHK news, folks.

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

O-su-shi!

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

“Which one is Puu-san*?”

*The above text reads “Puu-san” (プーさん), and “Winnie the Pooh” is called “Puu-san” in Japanese.

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

Be on the lookout for this criminal.

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV FunSEXPAND

A mankini sure can cause havoc at the beach! The cop said, “Because he is covering himself, I can’t really call this a crime.”

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

And you thought chopsticks were just for eating. Ha! They’re also a well-known comedy prop in Japan.

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

Here’s a segment from a comedy show that often tests celebrities’ English. Four, five, sex, huh?

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

NHK is one harsh mistress.

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

Pokemon voice actress and popstar Shoko Nakagawa is wearing a bean-shaped hat. Apparently.

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

FujiTV, it seems, could not find a better picture of 34 year-old suspect Naoko Nagashima.

Unexpected Chaos Makes Japanese TV Fun

“The end.”

Photos: 笑ちゃんの日々と愉快な仲間達 Dokiyo NewsZozoSnack画像モラトリアムLivedoor,Ruliwebログチャンネル今日もUnkarゴリナの檻EntaNHKTokNostalgicHakubun

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Categories: Must see, Stories about Japan | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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