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Japanese TV show, colloquially known as Kokohen, that ran from 1999 to 2001 on TBS. Its title literally translates to "This is strange, (you) Japanese!" Hosted by actor/comedian Takeshi Kitano with rikishi Konishiki Yasokichi, footballer Rui Ramos, and a couple of vanilla Japanese tarento such as Teri Ito.

The basic premise of the show was that a panel of Japanese-speaking gaijin would holler at each other for a while over their perceived deficiencies of Japanese society (ganguro, for example). It was much like Jerry Springer, except with less physical violence (unless you counted Takeshi's inflatable mallet).

Every now and then, the show would actually do something worthwhile. Their biggest political feat was publicizing the Otaru onsen lawsuit, which transpired after a group of foreigners were denied entry to an onsen in Hokkaido.

The most famous cast member was undoubtedly Zomahoun Rufin from Benin. He dressed in traditional African garb and was prone to explode in incomprehensible fits of angry Japanese (often subtitled with question marks), but he became famous after wrangling financial backing to build a primary school in his home country, and published a best-selling book about his experience.

Some gaijin criticized Kokohen for making all non-Japanese people seem violent and argumentative, but then again, making all people seem violent and argumentative is the point of television, isn't it?

Update: http://www.debito.org/KokoGaHen1.html has an entire segment of Kokohen, with transcript and screenshots, so you can see the magic for yourself. Half of the site is written in Japanese so it might mojibake your browser all to hell.

Update 2: Holy shit! http://www.peterpayne.net/Merchant3/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=PP&Product_Code=P01&Category_Code=BJ has Quicktime video clips! This site is owned by the owner of J-List, and the episode archived here is about the Japanese porn industry. Great stuff!

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