In a nation whose long and idiosyncratic history includes ritual suicide, Kamikaze bombers, and bizarre TV gameshows, the announcement by NHK's Banzai Nagasaki of a brand new "once-only" gameshow which will centre around the Fukushima nuclear power plant has met with little or no reaction (please excuse the inadvertent, and in this context tasteless, pun. Ed.)
The working title for this new show is "Zo wa hana-ga nagai", which roughly translates as "elephants have long noses". This would appear to bear no relation whatsoever to the content of the show as will be explained shortly, but then the Japanese are a very strange people with some very strange ideas - especially in the world of video-games.
Contestants in this one-off gameshow will be drawn from all age groups and backgrounds, and the successful applicants will undergo a week of intense training, hardship, and deprivation in order to ensure that only the most determined and foolhardy will be able to participate. Also, a condition of the show states that "each contestant must write a will" prior to filming.
On a given day then, the contestants will be airlifted to the general area of the Fukushima nuclear reactor where they will be abandoned to make their own way - as close as they dare - to the cores that are in meltdown, and the winner will subsequently be the contestant brave enough, stupid enough, and sufficiently hungry for fame, to actually plunge head first into the superheated mess.
The winner's name will later be announced to the nation on a prime-time news slot and he or she will be given a ceremonial send-off worthy of a deceased Prime Minister. He or she will also be commemorated with a bronze lifesize statue in the heart of Tokyo's busiest business district, Shibuya. The wording on the plinth has not been finalised, but my source informs me that it is most likely to read: "A Mighty Warrior - A Complete Idiot - A Hero of the Japanese People".
(As a footnote to this highly controversial and sick news item, attilathehungry would like to apologise unreservedly to his readers for his appalling bad taste in penning it in the first place".)