Japan, it seems, has embarked on a love affair with the rainy little island in the Atlantic ocean that some people call “Ireland”. It’s not surprising, I guess, Irish bands have been touring around Japan recently, Guinness is fast becoming one of “the usual foreign beers” alongside Heineken and Corona. All of these factors combined with others, have had such an effect that Japan is now Ireland’s 11th largest trade partner.
As such, Japanese people are wantin to know a bit more about Ireland…. So they send a talk show host and actor, Toshiyuki Nagashima, to Ireland to track down a Japanese woman to talk to… Don’t worry, it’s not as creepy as it sounds, it’s part of the show “Japanese over Here”.
When the guy steps out of Terminal 2 in the Dublin Airport the first thing he notices is the cold and rain. Of course he couldn’t show up on one of the rare sunny days, so the world gets to see Ireland in all its rainy glory. However, when Nagashima realizes that he’s arrived on the wrong side of the country, he asks a nearby market-stall owner how to get to the town of Dowra. (hint, it’s far away). But when our plucky hero pulls out an enormous map of Ireland, the stall owner doesn’t bat an eye and gets down on his hands and knees to locate Dowra.
Our hero also gets an education on how to drink a Guinness right. After being reprimanded for getting a Guinness outside of a bar, a fellow train passenger shows Nagashima that for a good Guinness, you have to wait.
Japan’s public transport is a marvel to behold. The only thing more impressive is the lack of public transport in the Irish countryside! The host encounters this little factoid when he’s trying to get from the “major town” of Carrick-on-Shannon to the tiny village of Dowra. So he has to hitch-hike. and don’t worry, the Irish show their kind hearts. The third car to pass by stops to give a lift to him and the camera crew. Granted, it took 45 minutes for the third car to even make an appearance, but hey, it’s the thought that counts.
Probably the best thing are the kids though. Seeing a half-Japanese, half-Irish girl with jet black hair and masses of curls is a strange sight. Taeko Lowe and her husband Peter have been married for a few years, operate a business together and have 4 kids, all with appropriately Irish names.
The show is almost entirely in Japanese, so get ready for a challenge if your Japanese isn’t up to snuff, but if it is, or you just want to have a quick look, check it out here: