I SURVIVED A JAPANESE GAME SHOW: Shino and Ken Satoh coming to US television

April 3, 2009 12:30 am Published by

A couple of weeks ago, Shino had mentioned that she had been asked to come along to Mobara Circuit with her car, because an American film crew were coming, and wanted to film her drifting.

Turns out it was for the second season of I Survived a Japanese Game Show!

For anyone not familiar with the show (link to Youtube segments here) it’s an American reality show along the lines of The Apprentice or Survivor, based around competing in team-based, Japanese-TV-style challenges.

The team that wins each challenge gets to do something cultural and fun, like visiting the Tokyo fish markets. The losing team has to do something difficult, yet still cultural, like working as rickshaw drivers or labouring in a rice field.

This week’s winners won a ride in a drift car.

Shino and Ken Satoh were the “Tokyo Drifters”, and Tomo Akai also came along to help Shino out.

Shino, here talking to some of the really friendly production crew, had to learn a few lines for her introduction. I told her that it didn’t really matter if they weren’t perfect, since sounding “Japanese” is probably a good thing on this show.

Ken’s car was this Fairlady Z, which actually belongs to a customer of the Mercury workshop. I saw one of the producers turn an interesting shade of white when Ken said that he had never drifted this car before. I quickly reassured the guy that Ken could probably drift the bus they drove to get there if he wanted to.

To look a bit more professional, Ken borrowed a racing suit from a friend of his, and former GT racer, Aoto-san.

Shino doesn’t usually run 15-inch wheels on her car, but for the shoot, she broke out her Equips. Unfortunately, she hit a curb during one of the hot laps and bent the lip!

Both of the cars were crammed full of camera equipment. The camera crews probably had never set up a race car with cameras before and didn’t really install a lot of their equipment as securely as they needed to. One of the DVCPROHD decks actually spat out the tape in all the bumping around! I swear I saw a sandbag in the back of Shino’s car. After a few warm-up laps, they sorted everything out though.

Some of Ken’s Mercury crew came along to watch as well.

Oops, can’t give away who actually makes it to this episode! One of the crew, Margaret (on the right), was kind of cute, so I’ll leave her face in.

The boom shots should look pretty good. When they drifted in and spun to a stop in front of the crew, Ken missed Shino’s car by what looked like centimetres, so it should be interesting to see how it turns out.

The new series of the show is starting on June 24th on ABC, but I’m not too sure when this episode will be on. The reward segments are on the second half of the show, so make sure to check it out.

After the crew had finished filming, we all headed over to nearby Minami Chiba circuit.

The main circuit is undergoing some renovations, and is opening back up soon. We played around with some cones on the skidpan for a few hours, which was fun. Never underestimate how much you can learn on a flat piece of ground with some cones, especially when you have a driver as good as Ken Satoh watching, and telling you things like “OK, that was good, now go and do it again with no handbrake”.

After one run, I pulled up and the engine died and wouldn’t start again. It would crank and spark and kind of sputter then die, but after a couple of goes, all it would do was crank. I suddenly remembered that I still haven’t changed the fuel filter since I bought the car, but then tried to listen and see if the fuel pump was actually working.

Luckily, it was just the fuel pump fuse. Unluckily, this means something is shorting somewhere…

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This post was written by Alexi


  • Shino says:

    I enjoyed running at Mobara and took care of cameras in my car very much. I had no experience to be with such expensive cameras beside my hands. When I jumped at the curb I was really afraid to touch those. I also worried if I spin out because they did not know how drift cars are very wild.
    Anyways, we had a happy time, ne?

  • James Banks says:

    This looks like it will be a great watch. Hook us up if the segment makes it onto say youtube or something like that.

  • dousan says:

    woah pretty cool
    ill actually watch tv and this show to see this. sounds like fun!
    go shino!!!

    my co workers tell me to watch this show but 99% of tv sucks.

  • BlueSlug says:

    looks like a good time was had by all!

    the fuel pump fuse issue reminds me of my old passat, something similar is what led to me getting rid of the thing… i solved it by jumping the fuel pump relay, but in the end the issue was the pump itself. hopefully you don’t have to get that far but it always sucks finding a blown fuse, since it always means the problem is somewhere deeper.

  • andy says:

    That would have been great fun!

  • Matt says:

    Rewire the fuel pump with a new relay and trigger the relay from the ecu. 🙂

  • garage_86 says:

    hmm another 86 in there !

    please put an article of Satoh’s car =Kenworks/Team Risky’s Mercury yellow 20v turbo hatch

    Hibino Dropout racing/ Soul body service/ Mercury aero style but a 86 hatch

  • Fury-S12 says:

    i have no idea where but i saw this show somewhere the other day wasnt too bad i thought it would be making fun of japan but it was all good ill definatleley keep an eye out for this ep tho

    i wish you could rock up to a skidpan here at any time and go nuts 🙁

  • MeZ says:

    Argh so envious of all the equipment at hand there!!!
    nice read alexi 🙂

  • aron says:

    when are they done filming that show in japan? i will be there end of may and would love to go out there and watch a game show, whether it be this one or an actual authentic japanese game show.
    anyone have any other ways to go about attending a game show in japan? my gf and I are american but both yellowskinned if you catch my “drift” 🙂 ( i’m hilarious I know.)