Saturday, 7 April 2012

Still watching: Vs Arashi

When I get the occasion, I enjoy sitting down to an episode of this lightweight game show where teams of famous people compete against the pop band Arashi. The games are simple and enjoyable, and watching this is a great way to relax.

But the other day, I was surprised when suddenly an icon from my childhood popped up on an episode as one of the competitors. Sakai Masaaki came on and was introduced as the actor in the lead role of the TV show Monkey. It was broadcast in Britain at the end of the 1970s, and it was very exotic to a British society where saying things like "I tolerate coloured people" was the height of multi-cultural sophistication.

I think that Monkey was my first exposure to Japanese culture (even though it was set entirely in China) and I can remember adoring it and, like most boys my age, acting out scenes in the playground the next day. But I haven't really thought about it since then, so it was a surprise when this guy appeared on my screen again after thirty years. And, of course, they gave him a long stick so he could show off some of his old moves. Bless him.

And then, as I'm looking for more stuff about Monkey on the internet, it occurs to me that Pigsy looks a bit familiar. Turns out to be Nishida Toshiyuki, who is still a regular in films and drams, and is one of my favourite actors.

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