Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Culture Shock: Japan Discovery Challenge

A new Web TV reality show starts on Sunday, December 16 at It's called Culture Shock: Japan Discovery Challenge and has Japanese and American high school students teaming up in groups (two Japanese and two Americans)and competing to produce short films about Japan. Each team has a bilingual leader and from the trailer that you can watch on the site I could garner that the typical communication and cultural problems arise with people from two disparate cultures have to work together who don't know each others' language. Looks like it's going to be quite an interesting show and already there are snippets you can watch that have some great location shots of Akihabara, Asakusa, and Shibuya, which are districts in Tokyo. Twenty-four segments will be shown weekly from December 16 through February 17. By the way, "bukatsu" means extra-curricular activity and many Japanese school children are often saddled with bukatsu as well as "juku" (study schools outside of regular school). Taihen desu ne (that's tough!).


Mary Witzl said...

My kids will love this, Wendy. They are still under the misapprehension that if we'd remained in Japan, everything would have been perfect. I can hardly get them to do anything that doesn't involve Japanese now -- but then that isn't an entirely bad thing.

And believe me, studying for preliminary exams in the U.K. is plenty taihen. So is being the parent of a person doing this!

Wendy Tokunaga said...

Wow, that's amazing that they think everything in Japan was perfect. I'm sure they'd change their tune if they were back in the thick of things. The grass is always greener, right?

Nick said...

I was actually one of the interns for the JDC 2006 program and can absolutely say that it works to promote cultural fluency. Students get frustrated, tired, and ultimately very good at communicating with one another. The people behind this operation are creative and completely original, and I would jump at the chance to work with them again.

I want to sincerely thank you, Wendy, for writing this article.


Wendy Tokunaga said...

So good that you stopped by, Nick. It sounds like a great program.