Thursday, May 9, 2024

The Contestant - Nasubi


One night this week I turned on Hulu and found this very quirky documentary about one of the first "reality shows" ever created.  It was about a game show in Japan that had people do weird things, kind of a combination of Fear Factor, Amazing RaceSurvivor and Big Brother.   For a very conservative and polite people, the Japanese really exhibit their quirky side on TV and Movies, perhaps only exceeded by the Koreans (as in the movie Parasite). 

The director,  felt his show,  Susunu! Denpa Shōnen getting stale and predictable, so he came up with this idea to create a show about a man living in a small room with a small kitchen who had to live for a year off his sweepstakes winnings.  

These sweepstakes area not lottery tickets, or Publisher's Clearing House type sweep stakes, they are promotional ones found inside Japanese magazines and Manga (Japanese comic books) where you have to send in a post card to win a product.  The prizes are not large amounts of money. Things like rice, crackers, potato chips, sugary sweets, fruit, canned food, rice, a set of car tires, etc.  The premise was that the show would be over when he won a million yen worth of prizes, but he also had to get his food that way.   The director wanted to see how scammy this sweepstakes were.

The show does the usual auditions which everyone who has seen the show has seen, but this one is a bit staged.  A man from Fukushima,  Hamatsu Tomoaki (浜津 智明who was bullied most of his childhood because of his long facial features is chosen. He is a struggling comedian, a talent he pursued in that it made kids like him. He appears to be may be part Ainu, the Japanese equivalent of our Eskimos. The Ainu live in the snowy northern islands and do not look like the rest of Japan and they have more facial hair. His nickname is Nasubi or "Eggplant" because of his long face.  I'll get back to his nickname later.

The show producers take Nasubi by blindfold to a hidden location, a tiny apartment.  There are cameras present but they tell him they won't be using most of the video.  That is a complete fabrication.  They edit the camera feeds down to eight hours then take the highlights from those for the show.   It's the Truman Show before the Truman Show came out a year later.   The last thing they do before they leave the apartment which has electricity, heating and running water, is take all his clothes.   At first he's self conscious and places a pillow over his private parts whenever facing the cameras.  After a while the editing staff have to place eggplant emojis over him in post processing edits for public broadcast. 

Nasubi is the reason the eggplant came to mean penis on the Internet.  The Japanese invented emoji. 

I won't rehash everything about this show, it's best to watch the documentary or the article on Wikipedia. The director is sadistic in that he really doesn't care about Nasubi or his mental state, only his show ratings.  Eventually Nasubi reaches the million yen goal of winnings, his hair and nails now long, much weight loss given how little food actually arrives.  He goes through a state of despair, although he is not locked into the apartment (he seems unaware of that) but eventually powers through that and doubles down on writing sweepstake postcards.  At one point the paparazzi figure out where he is and they have to move him to another location.  After about a year they wake him up in the middle of the night and tell him he won.  

Expecting to go on the show, they instead take him blindfolded to Korea to get his favorite food, Korean BBQ (it's really good trust me!)  They then take him to an amusement part for a day and he rides all the rides and has a really good time.   Thinking he's going back to Japan, they take him blindfolded to a Korean apartment, and they ask for his clothes again!   He nearly loses it in despair!   He has to repeat the experience but this time in Korea and the Korean language, which means he has to first learn the Korean alphabet and language and how to write it.   But he learned a lot in Japan is really good at winning contests and finishes this one in about half the time.  They wake him once again, with party poppers and tells him he won early!   So he's blind folded, ear muffed and taken by car and boat back to Japan.  He's not really sure where he's going and the show is beyond cruel at this point.  

They built a small box room on the stage of the show and walk him blindfolded into it and he assumes he's back in Japan because he can feel the tatami (sea grass) mats on the floor.   Then they pull the roof off to a live audience and the walls fall outwards and he's naked on stage.  

Poor Nasubi is baffled.  He just says "my home fell apart!".  He can't even comprehend what has happened.  They tell him they have been live streaming him the whole time.  Every emotion from childhood cruelty floods through his body, but he's on TV and he doesn't want to disappoint his family or friends back in Fukushima.  So he toughs it out and they give him a blanket to wrap himself and he does the usual celebrity things signing autographs.  The logs he wrote of his experience become best selling books. But he feels horribly used and abused.

But that's not the end of Nasubi's story.  

A tsunami happens in Fukushima, and he can't get there.  He eventually learns his family is fine so he travels to Fukushima to help with the cleanup.  This is where Nasubi finds his calling.  Helping people.  He makes so many friends, true friends, not celebrity friends, or abusive directors.  He finds fulfillment.  Sure they all know who he is from TV, but they know who he really is.

Nasubi decides to go to Nepal and summit Mount Everest.   

There was a man who was warned NOT to go there, nor allow his banking entourage to do those rituals in that sacred place.  It's no longer allowed.  But they did it anyway. A search engine company cybersecurity executive died there in the avalanche, as did people from various financial centers. The man who was warned, survived but got head injuries.  There's a reason there's dead frozen bodies on Everest aside from those that just slip.  You have heard it said "don't fuck with Mother Nature".   You really don't want to fuck with THE ALL. 

In what, I have to say is one of the most stunning documented of The ALL, working through a human being.  The same ALL working through human beings now to clean up all the corruption on this planet.  The same ALL that experiences itself as Mt Everest.  One long laughed at and long suffering light filled Japanese man was also there in that base camp.  Nasubi.  And he was there to help some bone heads out.  Nasubi, one of the most unique instances of the ALL to grace this planet right now. 

A massive earthquake hits Nepal and an avalanche hits and half buries the base came.  Nasubi is organizing the supplies left to survive on, digging people out of the snow and tending to their needs until a helicopter arrives to airlift people injured out.  He doesn't get to finish his climb to the summit of Everest. 

When he returns to Fukushima word spreads of what happened to him.  And the people he helped save.  Locals, and even the cruel director set about raising crowd funding a trip for Nasubi to finish his climb to Everest. 

He said when interviewed:

“I’m in a complicated state of mind mixed with anxiety and expectations about how the people who watched this movie feel. I think this kind of work is probably often made after the main character’s death, but fortunately, I’m alive and well. And many people may think that I am an unhappy and poor person who lives a life hit by tragedy. But I’m never an unhappy person. Because I know that if I have a reliable friend who shares just an inch of happiness and that small happiness and supports me, I can live well with a smile. I hope that people who have seen this movie will think about what is important in living and live a rich life even a little.”

This film got me thinking of many things.  How Nasubi's preparation was for a specific moment in time.  Why did he think to go to Everest at that moment?   

It also made think about how that cruel director, toughened Nasubi.   You may have had a sport coach who was really hard on you, when he saw great potential.  You have had the worst parents on Earth, and that toughed you.  Maybe you were adopted by psychopaths.  Maybe you grew up in the favela's of Brazil.  They say the most interesting people have had tough childhoods.  There some truth in that.  Did you ever see Joe Rogan's interview with Mike Tyson?  Maybe you just had a friend that loved you so much there were just bluntly honest with you.   It was there way of showing love.   But it usually doesn't feel that way at the time. None of it feels good.  But none of that is necessary anymore!   There was once a rule you could only awaken here with adversity.  That is no longer true.

I used to say that with these Galactic Councils, and various "prime directives" (which they all covertly violate anyway) that we are in one giant Truman show.   Always feels like the audience when they say "we are with you!".  You're doing great!  

I was wrong. We are a contestants in a demented Japanese game show living in small boxes and we have to feed ourselves with Federal Reserve coupons with magic sigils on them, food stamps (if you can even get them if you were born here), or whatever way we can to survive.  

Our leaders give away our value to genocidal armageddon-ish nutcases overseas and threaten to place anyone protesting it into the war zone itself! My word! Have you ever seen corruption so blatantly telegraphed?  You know who rules you by who you are not allowed to criticize.   An eye for an eye makes everyone blind or worse dead. 

So Galactics and your "high councils", and inaction by veto and protocol, you want to know how it feels down here?  Use your internet feed and watch The Contestant. Highly recommended!!   

And what "Behold my glory!" Celestials/Immortals that still remain sitting on the fence out there, how well would you do in your silver robes in a Japanese TV game show box living off of coupons and you couldn't just walk through the walls?  

You know who I am.  You know who Heather and the rest of the squad is.   We are here, as human as anyone else here.  As are thousands upon thousands of Universals and a lot of ETs, star seeds and light workers who do get it. WHERE ARE YOU! We're here.