I think Japan has lulled us into a sense of complacency with their Pikachu jets, Hello Kitty, and all things kawaii.

pikachu jet

hello kitty toaster


Oh yes, soooo cute and fuzzy and cuddly. No scary race of super humans here! Please go eat your cheez doodles and drink your cola beverages! But…don’t watch G4 TV, please.

They don’t want you find out what’s REALLY going on over there. Since 1997, there has been a competition airing in Japan. It’s called Sasuke–Ninja Warrior here. For your viewing pleasure:

So twice a year, for 12 years, they’ve been finding enough people to run this competition. Which means that, given the size of the island, everyone in Japan is a superhero. My kids loooove this show, along with Unbeatable Banzuke. In which super-humaniods do stuff that’s hard for Americans on foot–but on their hands:

or, perhaps, hopping on a bicycle:

Lily watched a Ninja Warrior fall into the water on a course and exclaimed, “They should be wearing goggles! They’ll get water in their eyes!” So maybe that’s the achilles’ heel, when they attack with their giant muscles, walking on their hands and hopping on their bikes, we just toss water in their eyes. Meanwhile, my family will be in training…sitting in front of the telly, munching on snacks.