Japanese Reality Show where the star was kidnapped & forced to win contests for food

I remember reading about this awhile back, but then I just kind of forgot about it before finding out if it was real. Now I can’t find anything about it.

Was this a prank or an urban legend, or did they actually do this?

Don’t know if this is what you mean, but a German TV station recently featured a show lasting two weeks where German celebrities were (voluntarily) taken to a camp in the Australian outback. Every day one of them had to perform yucky contests to win food for the team, and via telephone the audience regularly voted upon who should be allowed to leave the camp.

The - German - website of the show, entitled “I’m a star, get me out here” can be accessed here.

Since more and more show ideas are sold to stations worldwide - see Idol or Who Wants To Be A Millionnaire, for example, which have been aired in umpteen nations -, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that similar, and perhaps a bit nastier, programs have been broadcast elsewhere as well, and the Japanese audience’s preference for schadenfreude is well known.

I don’t know if it was real…

but to help describe the japanse t.v show. They took a guy, stripped him down and locked him into a room. He was given a pen, and a bunchload of post-cards. Basically the premise of the show was for him to send out thousands of postcards and see if it was possible for him to live completely off contests. According to the thing I read – he made it.

It was real. (I never saw the show, though.)

It was part of a programme called Susunu Denpa Shonen. Read about it here.

There’s a more detailed description of the show here.

You should, however, doubt to what extent this was real. For one thing, the caloric value of the food he won isn’t enough to sustain a grown man. And yet, even though he lost some weight, his health was fine. He never showered and didn’t have toilet paper and yet he was not nearly as filthy as you would have expected.

Also, kidnapping is, of course, a crime in Japan and Korea.

Comments in English-language media hint that the show was popular because Japanese viewers are sick and cruel. They fail to account for the ubiquitousness of yarase (faking reality shows or segments) in Japanese television. Many people are very skeptical about everything they see in these kinds of shows. It doesn’t keep many them, however, from suspending their disbelief (or skepticism).

:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

Just a couple of extracts:

How could you do that to the guy, for a TV show?

What was worse was they then put him in an entirely different country so he could earn his way back to Japan.

To bump this back to life:

One of my favourite things to read is Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader. A great source for much of the info contained on this board. I read with great interest the story of Nasubi. They tell the story in great detail, without alluding to a source i don’t think. Great story. Far as I know, it’s true!

      • Someone here I think pointed out that the show is not above faking things to make them more difficult–the point of many of these similar shows in Japan is that extreme tenacity wins. So it’s not unreasonable to suspect that they made sure he “won” just enough food to keep himself alive.
  • The presumption surrounding the show was that it would be possible to do such a thing however, as these types of “send a postcard to enter our drawing” contests are rather common in Japan, not only for big expensive prizes but even for ordinary, day-to-day household supplies and food.