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Culture Shock!

Culture Shock brings Japanese culture to English speakers in 7 to 10 minute videos.

This is a pre-recorded show.

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Latest Episode

The Meiji Era

Fri, 25 Mar 2016, 5:45pm

Brent and Evan discuss the Meiji Era of Japanese history, a time of massive change.

All Episodes

The Meiji Era

Fri, 25 Mar 2016, 5:45pm

Brent and Evan discuss the Meiji Era of Japanese history, a time of massive change.

Lolicon

Fri, 19 Feb 2016, 2:00pm

This week, Otalku #1 and Otalku #2 discuss a disturbing but real topic. "Lolicon" is drawn pornography involving very young characters. How likely are you to stumble across it? How can it even exist? Is it legal? Find out in this video.

Pachinko

Fri, 12 Feb 2016, 2:00pm

Pachinko machines are a sort of cross between pinball game and slot machine, and they're massively popular in Japan. Why? And how do you gamble on them? Find out!

Kitsune, Japanese foxes

Fri, 5 Feb 2016, 2:00pm

Japanese foxes, or "kitsune," have a long tradition in Japanese folkore. They trick humans, but not in the same way as Western tricksters. And they pop up in anime a lot, from Shippo in Inu Yasha to Renamon in Digimon Tamers. Find out more here. Photo credits: Fushimi Inari taisha 04, Fushimi Inari taisha 44, Fushimi Inari taisha 50, and kitsune 2. Anime artwork are screenshots from Pom Poko and Inu Yasha and art from Digimon Tamers.

Kimono and Yukata

Fri, 29 Jan 2016, 2:00pm

Kimono and yukata are classic Japanese clothes. What are they exactly, and do people even wear them in Japan anymore? Find out! Photo credits: kimono at night, Girl in a Kimono, 3-5-7 Festiva in Asakusa, and Yukata trio.

Japanese Fireworks

Fri, 22 Jan 2016, 2:00pm

Hundreds of fireworks shows fill the skies of Japan every summer. But why? And what are they for? Photo credits: Edogawa hanabi taikai (fireworks show), DSC01638, Japan Fireworks, Hanabi Taikai Osaka 花火大会, Koto Ward Hanabi Taikai Fireworks Festival #1, and Koto Ward Hanabi Taikai Fireworks Festival #1

Dojo

Fri, 15 Jan 2016, 2:00pm

Japanese martial arts organizations are known for their dōjō, or training facilities. But it goes well beyond martial arts, and has an interesting history. Brent and Evan explain. Photo credits: University Dojo, New Dojo, and Zen dojo.

School Sports Days

Fri, 8 Jan 2016, 2:00pm

Once a year, schools in Japan celebrate sports day, where the students engage in track and field competitions, human pyramids, and other, more unusual events. But why? And how did it start? All images in this episode are from the TV series Japanology Plus, made by NHK World.

Tanuki

Fri, 1 Jan 2016, 2:00pm

You may have seen these "raccoon dogs" in anime from Inu Yasha to Pom Poko. Tanuki are real animals with a rich mythological tradition. Photos used in this video are licensed for commercial use.

The Shinsengumi

Fri, 25 Dec 2015, 2:00pm

Brent and Evan explore the history of the famous Shinsengumi, the Wolves of Mibu who were central actors in the drama of Japan's opening to the West in the 1860's. Discover their doomed fate! Photos used in this video are licensed for commercial use.

Ramen

Fri, 18 Dec 2015, 2:00pm

There's so much more to ramen than Top Ramen! It's a full-scale gourmet dish; Brent and Evan explain the history and reality of ramen. Photos used in this video are licensed for commercial use.

Culture Shock! Futons

Fri, 11 Dec 2015, 2:00pm

Japanese futons are integral to Japanese culture. But they're not quite what you might be used to. Brent and Evan delve into the history and reality of futons. Photos used in this video are licensed for commercial use.

Culture Shock! Japanese College Entrance Exams

Fri, 4 Dec 2015, 2:00pm

Anime presents college entrance exams as super-intense. Is it really like that? And why? Photos used in this video are licensed for commercial use.

Culture Shock! Shinkansen Bullet Trains

Fri, 9 Oct 2015, 2:00pm

Brent and Evan talk about the super-fast trains of Japan, the shinkansen. Photo credits: Shinkansen, Shinkansen 400series, Shinkansen, Shinkansen For more videos like this, go to http://geekspectrum.org

Culture Shock! Mount Fuji

Fri, 2 Oct 2015, 2:00pm

Brent and Evan talk about that icon of Japan, Mount Fuji. Photo credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/skyseeker/11061598174 https://www.flickr.com/photos/emrank/3170872652 https://www.flickr.com/photos/melanie-m/2219827045 https://www.flickr.com/photos/midorisyu/5315466701

Culture Shock! Cultural Festivals

Fri, 25 Sep 2015, 2:00pm

You see them in anime frequently: the school has a cultural festival. But what is it? Where did it come from? Brent and Evan have the answers. All images in this episode are from the anime series The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.

Culture Shock! Cram schools

Fri, 18 Sep 2015, 2:00pm

Brent and Evan examine the Japanese phenomenon of cram schools. Are they really as common as they're portrayed in anime, manga, and film? All images in this episode are from Let's Talk about Japanese Cram School

Culture Shock! Brief History of Samurai

Fri, 11 Sep 2015, 2:00pm

Where did samurai come from? How did they evolve over time? Why are there no more samurai? Brent and Evan explain. Photo credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/68532869@N08/14583360482/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/txarli/5349519709/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/zaffi/2423828136/

Culture Shock! School clubs

Fri, 4 Sep 2015, 2:00pm

What are Japanese after-school clubs like, and how are they different than those found in other cultures? Photos are from the anime series K-ON!, Shirobako, Kokoro Connect, and Higurashi: When They Cry.

Culture Shock! Love hotels

Fri, 28 Aug 2015, 2:00pm

Japanese love hotels cater to those who want to rent a room by the hour. But they're not as sordid as they initially appear! Photo credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/charlottemarillet/1446160772/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinpoh/4563388587/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/antoniotajuelo/14577536045/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/antoniotajuelo/14576747722/ For more videos like this, go to http://geekspectrum.org

Culture Shock! Host and hostess clubs

Fri, 21 Aug 2015, 2:00pm

Brent & Evan talk about host clubs and hostess clubs, where employees are paid to talk to you. But what are the downsides? Photo credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/69486985@N08/6429897879/ and Wikimedia Commons.

Culture Shock! Shopping arcades

Fri, 7 Aug 2015, 3:00pm

A uniquely Asian feature, shopping arcades are streets lined with shops. We look at the history and current decline of shopping arcades, with some anime and manga recommendations.

Culture Shock! Maid cafs

Fri, 31 Jul 2015, 3:00pm

A caf where a maid serves you food and drink and addresses you as 'master'? How does that work?

Culture Shock! Kamishibai street theater

Fri, 24 Jul 2015, 3:00pm

A look at the traditional Japanese street theater art of kamishibai, which strongly influenced anime.

Culture Shock! Dōjinshi, part 2

Fri, 17 Jul 2015, 3:00pm

We peer into the world of amateur Japanese comics and fiction.

Culture Shock! Dōjinshi, part 1

Fri, 10 Jul 2015, 3:00pm

We peer into the world of amateur Japanese comics and fiction.

Culture Shock! Bento

Fri, 3 Jul 2015, 3:00pm

A look at traditional Japanese lunch boxes.

Culture Shock! The Game of Go

Fri, 26 Jun 2015, 3:00pm

A beginners' level overview of the classic board game that appears often in anime and manga.

Culture Shock! Comiket

Fri, 19 Jun 2015, 3:00pm

A look at the massive comics/doujinshi convention Comiket, including its history and impact.

Culture Shock! Japanese School Life, part 2

Fri, 12 Jun 2015, 3:00pm

A look at the differences between Japanese school life vs. that in the West.

Culture Shock! Japanese School Life, part 1

Fri, 5 Jun 2015, 3:00pm

A look at the differences between Japanese school life vs. that in the West.

Culture Shock! Tokyo Tower

Fri, 29 May 2015, 3:00pm

The history and impact of one of the biggest cultural landmarks in Japan: Tokyo Tower.

Culture Shock! Onsen

Fri, 22 May 2015, 3:00pm

A look at Japanese bath houses and the culture surrounding them.

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