The government’s plan for regional revitalization gets a boost from the world of television with the three-hour variety special “47 Todofuken Taiko! Kakuzeke Nippon!” (“47-prefecture Rivalry! Ranking Japan!”; Fuji TV, Sun., 7 p.m.).
Each of Japan’s 47 prefectures is represented by one celebrity who was born and raised in that prefecture. Each spokesperson makes a case for his or her native region, and a jury made up of noncelebrities and headed by cram school teacher Osamu Hayashi eventually chooses the best prefecture in Japan based on the presentations. Naturally, in addition to singing the praises of their own bailiwicks, the celebrity representatives also bad-mouth rival prefectures. For instance, comedian Antony, who represents Tokyo, relates a damaging story about the famous pear-shaped costume character Funassyi, who is from neighboring Chiba.