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How to Survive a Japanese Game Show

Game shows in Japan are notorious for their wacky, humiliating -- and sometimes dangerous -- challenges. Get an edge on the competition with these winning strategies.


  • Step 1: Get in shape Get into excellent shape. Unlike American game shows, which tend to test mental ability, Japanese game shows usually involve physical challenges. Superior stamina and flexibility will give you an edge over the competition.
  • TIP: Making contestants dizzy is a popular theme, so work on your equilibrium.
  • Step 2: Roll with the punches Be ready to roll with the punches. Game show contestants in Japan don't just compete for prizes: they spar to avoid the punishment meted out to the loser, which can be anything. And we mean anything.
  • Step 3: Don't be squeamish If you're squeamish, get over it. To survive a Japanese game show, you may have to rip the heads off live squid or pass a squirming salamander to a teammate in your mouth.
  • Step 4: Have no shame Expect to be humiliated if you want to survive. A hallmark of Japanese game shows is to embarrass the contestants for the audience's amusement.
  • Step 5: Be fearless Be fearless. In one notorious challenge, contestants wearing raw meat on their heads had to stick their heads inside a cage with a Komodo dragon. Talk about putting your head on the chopping block!
  • FACT: The most popular game shows in Japan attract as many as 20 percent of available TV viewers.

You Will Need

  • Physical fitness
  • Humility
  • Strong stomach
  • Shamelessness
  • Fearlessness
  • Good equilibrium (optional)

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