February 27, 2008

Curriculumachine: Drunken 70's Japanese TV Show For Kids


Ho-ly smokes. Take hidden footage from The Electric Company's off-the-hook Christmas parties, where Rita Moreno turns her skirt-shaking Anita from West Side Story into a streetwalker. Combine it with bits from Laugh-in, and intersperse animation copied straight off the screen from Sesame Street. Then reshoot the whole thing in Japanese. That's Curriculumachine, an educational [no kidding!] TV show for pre-schoolers that aired six mornings a week in Japan between 1974 and 1978.


Here's just a couple of examples of Curriculumachine's live-action sketches from the much longer [no kidding!] article at Neojaponisme:

  • To teach the word “rubber band” (輪ゴム), a man in a lookalike Mishima Yukio military uniform holds the rubber band to his head, apologizes to his parents, and “commits suicide.”
  • To teach the the word “hose” (ホース), a girl holds a hose with water coming out. We then see that the hose leads to the inside of a man’s pants and he has been “providing” the “water.”
  • To teach words starting with the sound ka, nurses (kangofu) hold small enemas (kanchou) and then battle it out gladiator style to try to stick the enema up the other’s skirt.
  • To teach words with long vowel sounds, a cake is shown with a single candle (rousoku). As a family sings happy birthday, the mother reveals her one-year-old baby boy (a doll), then tickles his fake testicles, and the boy pisses out the candle flame.
  • To teach the word “shoeshine” (靴磨き), a shoeshiner is sitting down while a customer comes by, drops his briefcase, opens his fly, and urinates on his face.
  • curriculumachine_3.jpg


    The last sketch is actually in the one episode of Curriculumachine on YouTube at the moment. The rest of the show is either barely safe raunchiness or unashamedly raucous, all with the ostensible objective of teaching the number 8 [5+3, duh] and the hiragana sound, "ku." It's ku-razy.

    Curriculumachine [neojaponisme.com]
    Watch a 15-min episode of Curriculumachine on YouTube [youtube]
    buy a complete DVD boxset of Curriculumachine on Amazon Japan -- heads up, it's Region 2 [amazon.co.jp]

    Previously: Warped Japanese TV, Vol. XXI: Kure Kure Takora


    Wow. I'm speechless. It's like an alternative universe. In France, they just have sexy, short-skirted, panty-less starlets hosting children's television shows (http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mallaury_Nataf), which is nothing compared to this!

    I, too have to join the 'WTF' camp on this one. Of course, I guess it could explain all the strange fetish stuff coming out of Japan in the 90's-00's.

    It makes the 'boob-o-rama' kids shows on Uni-Vision seem positively bland. Of course, babies spend the first few months staring at pretty much nothing-but-boobs anyway, so maybe the view is comforting.

    [uh, excuse me, can you provide some more information on these Uni-vision shows?? -ed.]

    Man I miss Japan... unfortunately, there's nothing quite like this anymore... before primetime anyway!

    Now that our cable company is carrying TV Japan, though, I am at least enjoying watching Pitagora Switch every day before heading out to the office...

    [whoa, we have TVJapan. looking at their schedule, though, it just says Pitagora Switch Mini. which sounds like YouTube to me... still, we'll check it out. -ed.]

    BTW, try googling for videos using "カリキュラマシーン" -- there's quite a few other clips.

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