Japanese Brain Wall Game

One of the simpler Japanese Brain Wall puzzles

How good are you at figuring out puzzles? Well I’m not the best puzzle solver, but I think they’re a whole lot of fun! It’s even more fun when it becomes a Japanese game show. There is this Japanese game show that is just SO funny to watch, that every time I see it, I can’t turn the channel. An individual or team of contestants has to position themselves to fit through a hole in the wall. Most of the time contestants fail miserably and are pushed into a pool of water, but that’s what makes it so funny. Look:

I’ve heard the game called three different names: The Brain Wall, The Hole in the Wall Game, or Human Tetris (I don’t really get the last name). Whatever name you call it, it’s entertaining!

Some of you may have seen some of the Japanese game shows on American television, before I actually came to Japan, that game show that I had seen most was Ninja Warrior, better known as Sasuke here in Japan. After watching a bit more Japanese television, I realize that in addition to Human Tetris or Sasuke, there are a ton of truly fascinating Japanese game shows. Some of the shows aren’t meant to run season after season, but may just be an interesting game for Japanese celebrities to take part in. There was one game for example, I’m not exactly sure what the show is called, but there are three or four contestants who walk into a room, and the door locks. The floor begins to disappear, revealing a deep pit below. The aim of the game is to find the room’s safe spots and get to them before the floor “runs out.” It’s fascinating to watch because it’s actually kind of like a scary/thrilling movie. People desperately try to find their way out, and you hear them scream as they fall into the pit. Oh yeah, there is one plunger to use as tool to help one contestant.

As scary as the game looks, it looks like it’d be so much fun to try with your friends. I wish there were a place to go and play this game.

What’s another one? Oh, I did see this treadmill game that looked pretty tough. The game was called treadmill cookie and the participant had to run on a long treadmill attempting to get treats on plates positioned next to the treadmill. The challenging thing is that the treadmill speeds up after successfully retrieving an item. If you fail, the treadmill quickly zips you into a pool of water:

What makes a Japanese game show so appealing? Well for me, it’s the novelty of the ideas that they use, they’re concepts that haven’t been used on American television, and probably nowhere else in the world, either. The games are sometimes thoughtful, puzzle-related games, other are just downright silly, while some require quite a bit of physical prowess.

Are you a Japanese game show fan? Why or why not? What’s your favorite Japanese game show?

Donald Ash

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