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Hit TV satire reveals how Japanese society has changed

37 Comments
By Tomohiro OSAKI

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boobs on television

What is wrong with boobs?

10 ( +19 / -9 )

In the series, titled "Extremely Inappropriate", the past isn't rose-tinted: there's smoking on the bus, boobs on television and corporal punishment galore.

Public smoking laws only cane into effect in 2020. Not much time traveling required. And as in recent scandals with Takarazuka, Dentsu and various sports institutions harassment, corporal punishment and total disregard for labour laws are still commonplace.

Perhaps Ogawa should have time-traveled to 3024 not 2024.

1 ( +15 / -14 )

@wasabi

I miss these scenarios ladies on onsen showing off their lovely breasts.

9 ( +17 / -8 )

What is wrong with boobs?

Nothing.

I miss these scenarios ladies on onsen showing off their lovely breasts.

They used to have some great shows where they had a nude modeling shoot at the end of the show. Then there were shows like "Miniskirt Police" which were laughably stupid, but fun because it was so over the top. A lot of good fun and comedy that got tossed when Japan started listening to the US and it's uptight rules on public decency / morality.

12 ( +23 / -11 )

Ah, I miss the good old days.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

It wouldn't be a Japanese drama without a bit of time travel, but on this occasion, it is important to the narrative rather than a whimsical plot device in some kind of romantic drama.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

A time-travelling TV comedy with a bawdy middle-aged hero has become a big hit in Japan, juxtaposing the country's brash 1980s boom years with its more politically correct present day.

Saw some snippets as a wrap up on their TV at a local shitamachi lunchtime curry place.

The neo-liberal secret, which applies to Abenomics as well as Clintonianism and Blair's Labour, is to give general vague gestures in the direction of identitarianism and inclusion and equality while engaging the majority in a race to the bottom of disenfranchisement of labour, financializiation and impoverishment.

Japanese society is just now coming to terms with this.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

Late night tv used to feature porn stars and have them in paper t-shirts with "comedians" firing water pistols at them. In some part of inaka, local tv may still do it. I saw it on Kobe tv in the early 1990s.

I bet this show won't talk about my main interest in "then vs. now", which is that a man could support a family with one salary in 1990 but cannot today. Many women today have no choice but to work. Single-earner, two-kid households are increasingly rare. I hope this tv features Mr. 1980s slagging off everyone for driving their families round in a kei and not a driver's car like a Celica or a Silvia. That is certainly not progress.

5 ( +17 / -12 )

Big change in Japanese society, Yen +50% weaker since Biden took office in 2021 due to US Govt. deficits and historic money supply expansion.

Above has led to strong $based inflation commodities priced in $USD, so commodities in Yen 50% MORE!

Inflation's the BIG change in Japan, effects everything!!!

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

The old Charisma Man routine probably doesn't work as well nowadays. It was probably what kept many foreign men in Japan longer than they intended.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

The only big difference I see in this picture is the lack of smartphones and different hairstyles/ style of suits. Otherwise, take a snip of the modern day version of this station and you'll likely see the same gloom faces on all the drones marching to work.

-7 ( +10 / -17 )

It would be of great assistance to the progressive cause if life today, after so many changes, wasn't so crappy and depressing.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

No, society hasn't got better. Not in Japan. Not in the UK.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

It would be of great assistance to the progressive cause if life today, after so many changes, wasn't so crappy and depressing.

Falling living standards, innit? Women work but it only plugs the hole left by the real world fall in men's wages. In western countries, women working pays boomers inflated prices for the houses they bought a generation or two ago with one salary. Or the houses other people inherited as single children.

My son wants a motorbike/scooter but all the cool ones are at least twenty years old. Suzuki, Yamaha etc. used to make a full range of sports and offroad bikes shrunken to 50cc to let 16 year olds ride em. Magna 50, DT50, Street Magic, TZR 50 etc. They all qualify in Japan as "scooters" so you can ride em with a car license and don't need a bike one. I can't wait till he gets one and I can have a go.

I see a lot of problems with modern life, but nothing to do with a (partial) clampdown on casual racism or sexism in the office. You wouldn't improve life by bringing those back.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Agree with some commenters that life in Japan is not better because they adopt foreign standards of life.

Economic issues in the end, cause stresses and tears in family and societal fabric that bring it to its knees. Japan's society nucleus used to be the family, but first with the exaggerated importance to work, fathers tended to neglect their families entirely, leaving wives neglected as well, to burn out, father eventually burning out from work as well, and leaving kids with just school and friends as their focus in life, it has slowly changed, but as it changed, economy has deflated, salaries flat and price of life increases, focus on bunch of outlier issues like climate, sexual preferences or such, instead of revitalizing the nucleus of the society in the family to make it stronger and make more young people desire to form a family, instead, as the article points out the show let's see, matrimony is not equaled to happiness anymore (it was allowed to degrade like that), and people do not date, do not marry, do not have sex, do not have kids. How anyone would see this as conducing to a better future it's mind boggling. Strengthen family, better support parents, better job schedules, better salaries, better school times and care facilities, more incentives, otherwise it is the end, eventually.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The old Charisma Man routine probably doesn't work as well nowadays. It was probably what kept many foreign men in Japan longer than they intended.

Now some are still around, railing against signs that Japan is importing "wokeness", losing its chauvinistic traditions and less a heaven for their prejudices.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

@ Moonraker

Now some are still around, railing against signs that Japan is importing "wokeness", losing its chauvinistic traditions and less a heaven for their prejudices.

I do think Japan shouldn't care about wokeness, Japan should improve it's society the way it fits its society, i.e., whomever has an inconformity should just state what they would like to happen to them and work out the best ways to have that corrected within the Japanese society, and not just repeat slogans or ideas from abroad just because the west has it like such.

It's like your use of the term "chauvinism". While seemingly widely accepted in western vocabulary, it is not at all appropriate to apply it to a different society. It is as if Japanese would call American progressiveness for "robbing men of their chi" or some other shinto concepts. Cannot judge a society through another's bar.

That is why the world has different societies. Outside serves as reference, but when reflected inwards it must be dealt from within the spirit of each society. The concepts of masculinity and femininity are different in Japan than in the west, and are rooted in different concepts that those of the west of course, and have very different levels and degrees of acceptance and permeation in each culture, and therefore cannot and should not try to bring them to the same end-result through the same means as they are NOT the same.

We shouldn't be wanting to do away with lovely Japanese women femininity, specially if Japanese women don't want to at large!

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I'd go back to Showa for boobs on TV too.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

All I'd say is be careful what you wish for...

If the "good 'ole days" of the 1980s are so engaging...maybe the nostalgic days of 1937-45 are even better...

And there are people still around in Japan that drive big black trucks that still think so...

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Thanks for your lecture on cultural relativism, Chikatilo, but, if you look a little more closely, I am actually portraying the world from the point of view of the atavistic types who enjoyed the fact they could behave like cavemen in the 80s and never really grew out of it. Do you recognise the type?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

... the fact they could behave like cavemen in the 80s...

Exaggerate much?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

When I was a kid in the 1980s, I was not allowed to watch TV after 10PM. Well, now you know why. But actually, for totally gay gokai, it didn't matter. But back in those days, I was out in junior high, and it was no big deal. Things were different in real life and on TV. The 1980s TV show 毎度おさわがせします (I always cause trouble) had a gay male junior high couple, and the show was very popular. No problems. Anyway, I have to watch this program!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The 80s bubble economy gave many a false sense that Japan could not be stopped on its way to the top. This generation has no such illusions. The country has changed but at a snail's pace and China was the so-called "Sick Man of Asia" then but now they have surged past and even South Korea is on the rise. Those big bonuses have all but dried up and wages are stagnant. The birthrate is in the tank because the men are awkward and don't know how to talk to women. The women go on dates with each other, buying chocolates for themselves, the yen is historically weak, there's a 'labor shortage' and the list goes on and on. Sure, some progress has been made on the diversity and inclusiveness fronts but Japan still can't get over what I call its gaijin complex, and is too stubborn as a whole to make the real changes necessary to get the country back on its feet. That TV show may be popular but it's just satire. Reality is staring the country in its face. Sign me: Never was and still ain't a Charisma Man.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Anyway, I have to watch this program!

Don't do it, or you will never see a hole in a bathroom the same way again.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"I'd go back to Showa for boobs on TV too."

Oh! My goodness! How I long to return to Showa Jidai! (Although I did not own a television at that time; I did not happen to see any 'boobs on TV'; and I was not actually aware of any corporal punishment at that time...)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

A lot of good fun and comedy that got tossed when Japan started listening to the US and it's uptight rules on public decency / morality

So I guess “Naked Attraction” from UK TV will never get an airing in Japan then?

The past is always better, and so it was then!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson - you find the present tense and the past perfect, but the future conditional always seems the least promising.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan slowing evolving

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Japan should stop implementing "everything America". Europeans had big issues understanding what Nipplegate was about, for example, and are very good at separating the nude body and the sexuality and not automatically considering one the other, puritan style. Japan used to be like this and it was a much more natural society.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan progressive, that itself comical,the same people running Japan is laughable

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Late night tv used to feature porn stars and have them in paper t-shirts with "comedians" firing water pistols at them. In some part of inaka, local tv may still do it. I saw it on Kobe tv in the early 1990s.

Saw a video of Sanma san squirting an 18 year old bikini clad model in the bum as she was on her hands and knees, looking back at him. Good times. "We have to go back, Marty!"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Smoking on buses? Not in Tokyo. No smoking on trains either.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Give me the good old days anytime. Anything pre-2000s would be fine but pre-90s even better. God I miss old Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A few good things about now compared to the 80s:

Less tolerance for smoking in public places.

Less tolerance for bullying and harassment

Less tolerance for treating minorities like crap.

Fewer perms.

A few good things about the 80’s compared to now:

More limited ‘information’ and sources for conspiracy theorists.

No ‘influencers’ on social media ( to be fair they are not all bad ).

Fewer references to George Orwell.

More boobs in horror films ( I was a teenage once ). Probably better than hardcore pornography available on tap.

No Crocs ( the 80s had some scandalous fashion but not that bad ).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Exaggerate much?

Were you here in the 80s? It seems like you were not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Our society has certainly gotten better, but in a way more restrictive, too, with everything dictated by compliance and protocols," Isoyama said.

Yeah, because Japanese behavior was never dictated by compliance and protocols until recently. (◔_◔)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Jimizo

A few good things about the 80’s compared to now:

Fewer references to George Orwell.

So, you think there were fewer references to George Orwell in the actual year of 1984 than there are now?

No Crocs ( the 80s had some scandalous fashion but not that bad ).

As ridiculous as Crocs look, the fashion of the 80s was way worse than today. Wayyyyyy worse.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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