Written by 18:21 World

A Show That Makes Young Japanese Pine for the ‘Inappropriate’ 1980s

The younger generation has frequently called out Japan’s entrenched elders for their casual sexism, excessive work expectations and unwillingness to give up power.

But a surprise television hit has people talking about whether the oldsters might have gotten a few things right, especially as some in Japan — like their counterparts in the United States and Europe — question the heightened sensitivities associated with “wokeness.”

The show, “Extremely Inappropriate!,” features a foul-talking, crotchety physical education teacher and widowed father who boards a public bus in 1986 Japan and finds himself whisked to 2024.

He leaves an era when it was perfectly acceptable to spank students with baseball bats, smoke on public transit and treat women like second-class citizens. Landing in the present, he discovers a country transformed by cellphones, social media and a workplace environment where managers obsessively monitor employees for signs of harassment.

The show was one of the country’s most popular when its 10 episodes aired at the beginning of the year on TBS, one of Japan’s main television networks. It is also streaming on Netflix, where it spent four weeks as the platform’s No. 1 show in Japan.

“Extremely Inappropriate!” compares the Showa era, which stretched from 1926 to 1989, the reign of Japan’s wartime emperor, Hirohito, to the current era, which is known as Reiwa and began in 2019, when the current emperor, Naruhito, took the throne.

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Last modified: 29 May 2024
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