The recent overseas success of “はじめてのおつかい” (“Hajimete no Otsukai”), better known as “Old Enough!” on Netflix, has people talking about Japanese TV again. Of course, バラエティ番組 (baraeti bangumi, variety shows) tend to dominate the airwaves here, programs hosted by various お笑いタレント (o-warai tarento, comedic talents [comedians]) that often introduce the kinds of skill challenges that put the “weird” in “weird Japan.”

There is a subgenre of those shows, however, that tests people’s knowledge rather than their skills. Popular クイズバラエティ番組 (kuizu baraeti bangumi, quiz shows) include Fuji Television’s “ネプリーグ” (“Nepu Rīgu,” “Nep-League”), “99人の壁” (“Kyūjūkyū-nin no Kabe,” “The Ninety-nine Walls”) and “潜在能力テスト” (“Senzai Nōryoku Tesuto,” “Latent Ability Test”), as well as TV Asahi’s “クイズプレゼンバラエティ ー Qさま!!” (“Kuizu Purezen Baraeti — Q-sama!!,” “Quiz Presentation Variety — Q-sama!!”).

The questions presented on these programs can range from general information about history or culture to really specific knowledge about train networks. Themes and guests will change, but the question format tends to be similar across all shows.