39 What should I know about Japan's Bubble Era? (A Fun Look at Japan's Infamous Era of Opulence)

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On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: What should I know about Japan's Bubble Era?

Topics Discussed
  • What was Japan's "Bubble Era"
  • The Japanese bubble economy of the late '80s and early '90s
  • Examples of some of the over the top ways people are said to have spent money during Japan's bubble economy era
  • Golden Bomber's "Dance My Generation"
  • Bubble Era fashion trends
  • The colorful suits that were popular for men to wear during the late '80s and early '90s in Japan
  • Popular female hairstyles of Japan's Bubble Era
  • The bodikon dress and the wanren hairstyle
  • What the tosakamaegami hairstyle is
  • About the nightclub Juliana's Tokyo
  • John Robinson's infamous "Tokyo" yell
  • The trend of fake car phone antennas during Japan's Bubble Era
  • Fake TV antennas for cars
  • Trendy words from Japan's Bubble Era
  • The phenomenon of asahan (morning shampoo)
  • The release of Toto's shanpūdoressā in 1985
  • Mitsubishi's Asashan Club
  • How Italian food became popular during Japan's Bubble Era
  • What itameshi is
  • What an Obatarian is
  • The etymology of obatarian
  • The manga Obatarian by Katsuhiko Hotta
  • What "soy sauce face" (shōyugao)
  • What "sauce face" is (sōsugao)
  • What "salt face" is (shiogao)
  • What the "dry war" is (dorai sensō)
  • What a dry beer is
  • Living the bodikon fantasy
  • And much more!
Support on Patreon

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Sources, Links, Videos, Etc.

This episode features Kyle Broyles as a special guest. If you would like to follow him on Twitter, please use the link below.

Kyle is one of the hosts of the Tokyo Splosion podcast. If you would like to check his podcast out, you can look it up wherever you get your podcasts or use the links below.

To check out Kyle Broyles' previous appearances on the podcast, use the links below.

Here are the main Japanese-language sources used for this episode.

Here is the music video of "Dance My Generation" by Golden Bomber.

Here is the music video for "Tokyo Go" by Joh Robinson. In this song you can hear John Robinson do his trademark "Tokyo!" yell.

Here is the Japanese trailer for Batarian (The Return of the Living Dead).

Here's the commercials mentioned during the dry beer portion of the episode.

Don't forget to check out the latest episodes of Japan Station.

To pick up a t-shirt and support the show, check out KimotoDesigns.com

Japanese Vocabulary List

Most episodes feature at least one or two interesting Japanese words or phrases. Here’s some of the ones that came up on this episode. All information is from Jim Breen's WWWJDIC.

  • Baburu
    • バブル (n) (1) bubble; (n) (2) (abbr) (See バブル経済) bubble economy
  • Baburu keizai
    • バブル経済 【バブルけいざい】 (n) bubble economy
  • Baburu jidai
    • バブル時代 【バブルじだい】 (n) (See バブル景気・バブルけいき) bubble era (of Japan, 1986-1991)
  • Baburu keiki
    • バブル景気 【バブルけいき】 (n) bubble economy (of Japan, 1986-1991)
  • Bodikon
    • ボディコン (adj-no,n) (abbr) (See ボディーコンシャス) body-conscious (look); tight-fitting (clothing)
  • Wanren
    • ワンレン (n) (abbr) (See ワンレングス) haircut of uniform length
  • Tosaka
    • とさか (n) cockscomb; crest
  • Maegami
    • 前髪 【まえがみ】 (n) forelock; bangs
  • Asashan
    • 朝シャン 【あさシャン】 (n,vs) shampooing in the morning
  • Obatarian
    • オバタリアン : オバタリアン; おばたりあん (n) (col) (from おばさん and バタリアン (horror film)) obatarian; generally obnoxious pushy middle-aged woman
  • Itameshi
    • イタ飯 【イタめし; イタメシ】 (n) (col) (See イタリア料理) Italian food
  • Shōyugao
    • 醤油顔 : しょうゆ顔; 醤油顔 【しょうゆがお】 (n) (sl) (See ソース顔) typically Japanese face
  • Sōsugao
    • ソース顔 【ソースがお】 (n) (sl) (See しょうゆ顔) typically Caucasian face
  • Shiogao
    • 塩顔 【しおがお】 (n) (sl) fair and delicate features (of a man)
  • Sensō
    • 戦争 【せんそう】 (n,vs) (1) war
We Want Your Questions

Is there something about Japan that confuses you? Is there something about Japanese culture that you would like to learn more about? Is there something in Japanese history that you would like us to explain? We're always looking for new questions about Japan to answer, so if you have one, please send it to ichimon@japankyo.com.

Special Thanks

Opening/Closing Theme: Produced by Apol (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Fiverr)

Ichimon Japan cover art: Produced by Erik R.

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