I just had to mention some great videos currently making their way around many Japan-related websites, lest anyone miss out.
Apparently in 1992, just before the burst of the Japanese bubble era, Fuji TV created an innovative morning program combining light aerobic exercise and English conversation lessons, entited Zuiikin English.
The result was nothing less than sheer brilliance.
Rather than focusing on standard textbook phrases such as the infamous “This is a pen” line, which to this very day can still be frequently heard shouted out by drunken middle-aged salarymen towards unsuspecting foreigners, each episode of the program was centered around a specific theme or situation and offered relevant (albeit often somewhat bizarre) phrases that would supposedly come in handy in such instances. Each phrase was repeated by a trio of leotard-clad women, dubbed the Zuiikin Gals, who provided accompmanying body movements over a bouncy and irritatingly catchy electronic beat.
There are a number of wonderful Zuiikin English videos up on YouTube thanks to a generous soul by the name of SkillfulAbbot. Each video is undeniably priceless and provided me with lengthy fits of uncontrollable laughter (much to the chagrin of my wife, alas), but favorites were no doubt this one and this one.
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If you liked these videos, be sure to also check out Let’s Sexy English! for another wacky example of unconventional Japanese English education.
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