Title card of Japanorama
Country of origin
No. of series
No. of episodes
9 June 2002
– 23 April 2007
was a series of Japanorama documentaries presented by Jonathan Ross, exploring various facets of popular culture and trends of modern-day Japan.
Each episode had a theme, around which he presented cultural phenomena, films, music, and art that exemplify facets of Japan. The series was colourful in both its creative use of subject matter, and its use of bright colours that helped accent the action on screen rather than distract from it. Subjects were separated by
eye catches that often featured the artwork of Junko Mizuno. Ross hosted each episode in suits so bright and stylised they could have been stolen from an anime character.
Fans have credited the series for the care that both Ross and the BBC have placed in its production. Time was given to delve into each subject, and he was able to interview various figureheads of culture and industry, including
Mamoru Oshii, Hayao Miyazaki, Takeshi Kitano, Takashi Miike with Takashi Murakami and Sonny Chiba.
The theme song of the show was
Kiyoshi no zundoko bushi by Kiyoshi Hikawa.
Series and episode list [ edit ]
Japanorama consisted of three series, each with six episodes. The first series was shown on
BBC Choice in 2002, while series 2 and 3 were shown on BBC Three in 2006 and 2007 respectively. [1 ] [2 ]
Series 1 [ edit ]
Science Fiction 1
9 June 2002
TV: and interview with the director Ultraman
Film: (1988) and interview with director Tetsuo: The Iron Man Shinya Tsukamoto
Video games: Interview with the CEO of UGA
Etiquette: How to enter a room
Anime: (1963), and Astro Boy (1988) Akira
Film: , Ghost in the Shell and interview with director Avalon Mamoru Oshii
Culture: Robot pets and robot people
Film: (2001), sci-fi porn feature inspired by I.K.U. Blade Runner
16 June 2002
Film: (2001), a comedy Waterboys
Conceptual Art: Cupheads
Etiquette: How to laugh
Culture: J-Pop Idols
Film: (1998) and interview with director Love and Pop Hideaki Anno
Culture: "PostPet", this is how internet was meant to be
Interview: Hayao Miyazaki, director of some of Japan's most popular animated films
Film: (2000): a group of teenagers on an island are forced to kill each other Battle Royale
23 June 2002
Film: Warm Water Under a Red Bridge
TV: The Paradise TV network, a 24 hour erotic show
Film: and interview with In the Realm of the Senses Nagisa Oshima
Interview: The "Kings of Pink" - Serious adult film makers
Anime: Looks at sex in various anime
Anime: (1989) Legend of the Overfiend
Culture: Figure, erotic cosplay with masks
Film: (1992), about a Tokyo Decadence SM girl for hire
30 June 2002
Film: (1966) Tokyo Drifter
Film: (1967) Branded to Kill
Film: (2000), interview with actor and director Brother Takeshi Kitano
Etiquette: How to exchange business cards
Interview: Director Takashi Miike — (1999), Audition (2000), City of Lost Souls (2001) Ichi the Killer
Reality TV: "Crybaby". Which girl can produce the most tears? Interview with producer and winner
Music: Pizzicato Five, interview with Yasuharu Konishi
Anime: Defining the difference between anime and cartoons with (1983) The Professional: Golgo 13
6 July 2002
Manga: , Interview with writer Lone Wolf and Cub Kazuo Koike
Etiquette: How to bow
Film: (1971) Zatoichi Meets the One Armed Swordsman
Film: (1998), interview with director Samurai Fiction Nakano Hiroyuki
Anime: Ninja Scroll
Conceptual Art: Breadman
Film: (1964) Onibaba
Culture: Kano Sisters, celebrities known for nothing in particular
Music: SUPERCAR, J-Rock
Film: (1954), Seven Samurai (1961), hosts from Akira. Yojimbo
13 July 2002
Interview: Architects and actors Godzilla
Film: (1964) Kwaidan
Film: (2001) Scarecrow
Film: St.John's Wort (2001)
Film: (1998) and Ring , interview with director Ring 2 Hideo Nakata
Anime: (1983), interview with writer Barefoot Gen Keiji Nakazawa
Interview: Junko Mizuno
Interview: Dir en grey and fans
Series 2 [ edit ]
7 September 2006
Architecture: Buildings in Omotesandō, Tokyo.
Interview: Pop and video artist Nagi Noda, creator of the Hanpanda.
Custom: Slurping when eating noodles.
Interview: Nigo, creator of Bathing Ape.
Interview: Actor Tadanobu Asano.
Technology: Robots, such as ASIMO, and an interview with robot builder Tatsuya Matsui.
Otaku (Nerd Culture) 2
14 September 2006
Film: Densha Otoko
Interview: Toru Honda, "King of Otaku"
Culture: Garage kits and other anime model kits, as well as Wonder festival, an annual event dedicated to these things
Culture: Maid cafes
Custom: Lying and the Japanese saying that doing so would cause you to lose your tongue in the afterlife
Music: AKB48, an idol group catering to Otaku
Zoku (Tribes) 3
21 September 2006
Culture: Harajuku, Tokyo and the subcultures who go there to show off — gothic lolitas, gyaru, rockabillys and the like.
Music: Junko, dancehall queen.
Custom: On graduation day, girls ask the boy they like for their second uniform button — the one closest to his heart.
Interview: Fashion designer Paul Smith
Culture: Yakuza and their style in clothes and tattoos.
Owarai (Comedy) 4
28 September 2006
Culture: Manzai, stand-up comedy
Interview: TV comedian Hard Gay
TV: Oh! Mikey, TV comedy sketches
Film: Cop in a Wig
Film: Cromartie High
Film: The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai
Bushido (Samurai Spirit) 5
5 October 2006
Culture: Beetle sumo
Interview: Director Minoru Kawasaki about his films , Calamari Wrestler and Executive Koala Crab Goalkeeper
Technology: Sumo robots controlled by cell phones via Bluetooth
Film: The films with Chiaki Kuriyama
Kawaii (Cute) 6
12 October 2006
Culture: Hello Kitty.
Music: Ichirou Mizuki, King of the Anime Singers.
Custom: The tradition to throw a fallen-out bottom tooth over your house to symbolise the new tooth growing straight up quickly. Upper teeth should be thrown under the house.
TV: and Ga-Ra-Ku-Ta: Mr. Stain on Junk Alley by Funny Pets Ryuji Masuda.
Culture: Gloomy Bear and an interview with its creator, Mori Chack.
Culture: Japanese dolls, in particular the Super Dollfie dolls.
Series 3 [ edit ]
Gaijin (Outsiders) 1
19 March 2007
Culture: Bosozoku (bikers)
Culture: Drift racing
Music: Electric Eel Shock hard rock band
Culture: Dekotora ( Truckers decorating their trucks)
Manga: Afro Samurai, manga and anime series about a black samurai taking revenge
Culture: Yayoi Kusama, polka dot artist
Ai and Koi (
Love and Romance) 2
26 March 2007
Religion: Shinto shrines with fertility rites and penis festivals.
Culture: Host clubs where women go to meet well-paid male hosts for companionship. There are also onnabe hosts — women dressed as men and taking hormones to grow beards.
Culture: Takarazuka Revue, an all-female revue form of theatre.
Manga: Yaoi manga, comics featuring romance and sex between males.
Culture: Air sex, like air guitar but pretend sex instead of guitar play.
Culture: Businesses renting rooms with latex love dolls to men.
Pop Art) 3
2 April 2007
Culture: Takashi Murakami's " Superflat" style of subversive characters derived from Manga and Anime, turned into merchandise
Culture: Gesai #10, Tokyo fair for young artists, 2006
Culture: Toast Girl uses household items for performance art
Culture: Yoshitomo Nara and his paintings with dark childlike figures
Culture: Toy-art, collectible figures created in limited editions
Culture: Tomohiro Yasui creates paper figures of wrestling robots
Culture: Hard Gay's paintings and sculpture, showing a giant anus
Culture: Keiichi Tanaami has created colorful psychedelic art since the late 1960s.
9 April 2007
TV: 40 years of Ultraman, and the " Ukulele Ultraman" pop video
Anime: Gundam, Pokémon, Astro Boy
Culture: Illusionist Princess Tenko
Song: Haruka and Rena perform "Tarako, Tarako, Tarako"
Food: Ramen, noodles in broth with toppings
Interview: Martial arts actor Sonny Chiba,
about his film and his acting in The Street Fighter Kill Bill
Kaidan (Scary Stories) 5
16 April 2007
Culture: Kimodameshi (scary walks for children)
Entertainment: "Haunted Hospital" in Fuji-Q Highland, one of the scariest haunted houses, with live actors
Anime: Spirited Away (Oscar, 2001), Pom Poko (1994)
Culture: Obake, transforming monsters in Japanese folklore, including Kaminari, Bake Chochin and Karakasa Obake (one-legged umbrella)
Music: Interview with Demon Kogure, head of a religious heavy metal band who claims to have conquered Earth in 1999
Film: J-Horror films including Kwaidan (1964) with "The Woman of the Snow" and "Hoichi the Earless"; Kuroneko (1968); Ring Trilogy (1998) by director Hideo Nakata; Ju-on: The Grudge (2003) by Takashi Shimizu
Manga: Interview with Junji Ito, creator of Uzumaki (The Spiral), Tomie and Gyo
Photography: Kaoru Izima takes pictures of fashion models as if they were dead
Film: Ero guro ("erotic grotesque") movies, many based on the horror novels by Rampo Edogawa, e.g. Japanese Hell (1999) and Blind Beast vs. Dwarf (2001) by Teruo Ishii and Sexual Parasite: Killer Pussy (2004) by Takao Nakano
Gyaru (Bad girls) 6
23 April 2007
Culture: Kogals, Ganguro and Yamanba girls.
Dance: Para Para, synchronised group dancing performed to eurobeat music.
Interview: Maeda Ken, para para pop star behind the Maeken Trance Project.
Film: (2003). Azumi
Feature: Entertainer Reiko Ike, best known for her action/erotic roles in so-called " pink films".
Film: (2004), Kamikaze Girls (2007) and interview with actress and pop idol Sakuran Anna Tsuchiya.
Culture: Female wrestling.
Music: Female pop stars Namie Amuro, Ayumi Hamasaki and Kumi Koda. All-female bands Metal Chicks, The Feminine and eX-Girl.
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
External links [ edit ]