Since coming to Japan it has become a staple to watch television at dinnertime and breakfast with my host family. It is during these times that I really wish I had more of a grasp on Japanese. However, it is still highly entertaining to watch. I find it extremely interesting how Japanese love to relay foreigner’s news stories. First they introduce the characters, and then they have a re-enactment of the story (cutting off right before the most intense parts with commercials) and after the mini-drama interviews with those who were the actual people from the situation. These mini-dramas cover stories from high school bullying to vacation kidnapping incidents. These stories are then discussed by the Japanese news or entertainment studio hosts. I just love the re-enactments. They are acted out terribly but are so intense and usually have high shock factor. However these stories are not always about foreigners. I have also seen the re-enactment of a family that found four or five kittens stuck inside the walls of their house. I think this was my favorite.
Having said this, my favorite shows are the ones that are about Japanese music. I love hearing the range of styles and different decades of Japanese music. I think I have fallen in love with some 80s and 90s Japanese songs. These shows are karaoke like at times, but other times it is about reenactment. Singers dress and try to mimic the original artists. Sometimes the original artists come and sing duets with their impersonators.
I have also noticed the huge role MC’s play in Japanese television. It seems to me that there is either a MC, a narrator, or a little bubble in the corner showing you the studio personal’s reaction to what is being shown. During this dating show you actually didn’t hear what the contestants were discussing when getting to know each other. Instead you only to heard the contestants talk to the MC’s, and during the mingle time you were only given the reactions and comment of the MC’s
In the morning there is children’s shows. These are similar to the US’s morning children’s shows where phonetics and language seem to be taught. Even these shows are above me, but I think my writing level is at a higher level. It is just that I can’t understand what is all being said, while children who are Japanese have of course an understanding for the oral language. I still stare at these shows trying to will myself to understand. One of these days.
Honestly, I don’t watch American television very often. And I am not saying these things don’t happen in the US. I am only stating the things that stick out to me. I over all hope that by listening to Japanese on television I will be able to absorb the language. It doesn’t hurt that I get to spend this time with my host family laughing at some of the peculiarities together.
Oh, I also happened to watch this show on Japanese Graffiti artists, all the big names and what their styles are. The same day I found myself walking somewhere between Daikanyama and Shibuya where there was a lot of great graffiti. It wasn’t to the extent of where I lived in New York (Long Island City has a few buildings that are entirely covered with angels, portraits, script, and everything else you can ask for in Graffiti form.) but it was really fun to see. Here are some pictures!!!!