Posts Tagged ‘blackface’

Japanese comedy: primitive tribesmen with bones in their noses

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    tribesmen on Japanese TV

    An interesting discovery I made yesterday while sampling the many Ken Shimura comedy clips available on YouTube:

    Those of you who left comments expressing frustration with the use of black facepaint in the Michael Jackson moonwalking competition might have a bit more to say about this video.


    The joke appears to be based on the Dani people of New Guinea, who are known to wear “penis gourds” and nose bones. According to the video uploader, it comes from one of Shimura’s Baka-tono DVD’s.

    Update: Here is a picture of a Dani tribesman wearing a bone through his nose and a penis gourd.


    The bone is not the same shape, nor is the gourd. Still, it seems possible that somebody involved in making the comedy sketch was aware of the existence of such a tribe and made some minor changes to make things more silly.

    26 comments - What do you think?  Posted by James - September 16, 2009 at 7:52 am

    Categories: Japanese TV

    Japanese moonwalking champions

    moonwalk competition

    TV Tokyo’s “Champions” recently held a competition to see which Michael Jackson mega fan could perform the fastest 30-meter moonwalk (English captions have been added to explain what’s going on):

    The first contestant is wearing an afro wig with black face paint, probably out of a desire to mimic the appearance of a young Michael Jackson. Kind of odd, considering the fact that he didn’t moonwalk back in the Jackson 5 era…

    18 comments - What do you think?  Posted by James - September 13, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Categories: Japanese TV, Odd / Strange

    Adamo – a fake South Pacific Islander in Japan


    A FTV news report about Adamo-chan singing and dancing with some little children to promote the new release of a song:

    Adamo-chan is a character created by comedian Toshiro Shimazaki, and is apparently meant to be a Tahitian (perhaps some knowledgeable readers could correct me on this if I am wrong). I was not aware of his existence until seeing this news report, but it would seem that he’s been around for 25 years now, with the peak of his popularity was some time in the 1980’s.

    The existence of Japanese comedians who put on make-up to imitate the physical features of other races is a sensitive one for non-Japanese, so I’ve included a poll to see what this site’s readership thinks of Adamo-chan:


    Aside: I doubt such footage of shirtless children would be considered appropriate for the TV news in the United States (and possibly other countries with strict views on child porn), but I guess it’s okay for TV in this country. I also don’t quite understand why they had to be shirtless at that event: we can see in the background that at least one class of the kindergartners kept their shirts on.

    20 comments - What do you think?  Posted by James - July 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    Categories: Odd / Strange

    Africans on Japanese TV

    A show on TBS last night told Bobby Ologun’s life story. Unfortunately, they seemed unable to find enough actors who look Nigerian, so they had to paint a few Japanese men brown, put afros wigs on them, and move the camera really fast in the hope that viewers wouldn’t notice (see 23 seconds into the above video clip).

    Here’s a screen capture, in case you missed it:

    this is an african

    The program also included tales of Bobby’s childhood in Africa, with low budget encounters with a hyena and a crocodile:

    9 comments - What do you think?  Posted by James - June 13, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Categories: Japanese TV

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