The 8Asians Talk About: Japan’s Foray Into Reality Television

Our internal e-mail lists have us discussing all kinds of stuff: Asian American identity, representation in the media, the experiences of activism in an academia setting and its progression as we transition to the working, adult world. And sometimes, we talk about pretty girls from Japan trying to start their own reality show.

Moye: OMG I would totally watch this if I could: MTV’s Shibuhara Girls are Japans first bite of Reality TV.

Mike: I have a feeling this is going to be huge. If it was a stock, I would totally buy some.

Moye: I don’t know. Japanese TV is pretty hilarious and crazy already. They already do so much “reality” anyway, so I feel like introducing something like The Hills would be considered really slow and boring. But who knows!

Mike: Oh, you mean the episodes aren’t going to end with the participants having a drunk karaoke party, then falling into a tangled mess of a sex orgy? Then nevermind.

Ernie: I think that’s already been done on DVD, if you know what I’m saying.

Not to be all Comic Book guy on the article, however, Japan already had its foray into reality television through a little television series called Survivor; that’s right, the mainstay of American “You’re the rat and you’re the snake” television actually had a Japanese production from 2002 to 2003, but because Japanese people are known to express themselves to strangers less than Americans, subtitles and narrations were used. Of course, seven years is a long time ago, and if you told me that we’d all have computers the size of our phones, I’d laugh at you and go back to watching That’s So Raven on my goddamn TiVo.

So what do you think: could an American reality style show make its way in Japan and be successful?

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About Ernie

I'm the creator of 8 Asians and one of the editors. While I'm a regular blogger to the site as well, think of my role as Barbara Walters on "The View," except without the weird white hair. During the day, I'm a Developer for a major Internet company and live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I've also been writing in my blog,, for seven years.
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