There’s no way to soften the blow: this episode of Arashi ni Shiyagare (嵐にしやがれ) is a food episode:

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So, if you enjoy watching Arashi eating, this episode is for you. The question is – will there still be something in it for the rest of us? The lineup of guests doesn’t give me much hope:

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That’s a panel of “gourmet godfathers” who know something about fine cuisine. From left to right, they are Nakao Akira-san (中尾彬), Kikuchi Takeo-san (菊池武夫), Ishikawa Jiro-san (石川次郎), and Suzuki Masafumi-san (鈴木正文). The main requirement for them seemed to be age – they’re all 60+ – since none of them actually specializes in food (as far as I could tell). Considering all the gourmet shows on Japanese TV, I’d be shocked if any given talent didn’t have substantial background knowledge about cuisine – it’s the sort of thing that will definitely come in handy.

Anyway, the Arashi guys walk in looking spiffy:

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And considering what I just said about Japanese TV talents, I was surprised when they claimed that Arashi’s food sense was childish and immature (お子ちゃま – okochama). If they haven’t figured foodstuff by now, after more than a decade tasting every dish under the Sun, there’s no hope. I think they just said that to give an excuse for the show – if they admitted that Arashi already knew more about food than anyone short of a chef (and they’ve had to do the cooking themselves often enough) there’d be no need to teach them about it, right?

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So, after each of the godfathers got their official introduction . . .

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. . . and Suzuki-san explained about dandies (which is apparently what the Arashi members are trying to be – don’t ask me why) . . .

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. . . we got MatsuJun’s VTR. Each member had their own Encounter the Unknown segment with another guest. The godfathers are basically there to judge their performance after watching the VTR, deciding who the true dandy is.

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Matsumoto-kun’s instructor was singer Koganezawa Shoji-san (小金沢昇司), who showed off a model of the New Shinbashi Building. I guess he performs there, and eats there.

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The model comes in parts, and Koganezawa-san pulls out a diorama of MatsuJun’s destination that would make Ohno’s character in Kagi no Kakatta Heya proud.

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Koganezawa-san says something about having one’s fill in 20 minutes, so as Matsumoto-kun goes on-location to New Shinbashi, there’ll be a clock.

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There’s the food:

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And . . . it looks like no one has taught these guys something better to say than “umai”:

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Just kidding, of course – they do occasionally manage to make substantive comments about the food.

Time ticks away . . .

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. . . and MatsuJun gets a massage after eating:

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Well, at least it wasn’t just eating. Will all the members have these little side activities?

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Ohno-san gets a kick out of it as the massage continues.

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And there you have it – a fine advertisement for the New Shinbashi building.

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Next up was Aiba-kun.

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And his instructor was Miyamoto Amon-san (宮本亜門), a theater director.