Ikegami Akira – Bringing the News Within your Grasp

I’ve recently come across a new variety show which I must say I’ve become quite attached to.  It is called  池上の学べるニュース or “Mr. Ikegami’s News I Can learn.”  Sounds silly.  Sounds stupid.  Sounds boring.  No.  It is none of these.

The concept is simple.  The host 池上先生 (Mr. Ikegami) gets a panel of 8 celebrities/entertainers (2 regulars), and he teaches them the most recent news.  He teaches it in a way so that anyone can understand and have fun enjoying the news, even with no background of watching the news, no knowledge of news-related vocabulary, and no awareness of current topics.  What this means it is very beneficial to a non-native Japanese speaker studying Japanese news.

Mr. Ikegami always picks interesting hot topics, has a great personality, and manages to surprise and amaze you at the same time.  Who would ever think that learning about “The Lehman Shock”, “The Japanese Police System”, or “The Restructuring of the Japanese Cabinet” could be bearable let alone interesting.

I don’t watch a lot of news, but add cartoons, comedy, a charismatic host, and a bunch of celebrities making wise-cracking questions and comments, and you’ve got me hooked.

If I haven’t convinced you yet, you are going to have trust me on this.  Just give it a try.  You will be a better person for it.

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Founder of Jalup. Spends most of his time absorbing and spreading thrilling information about learning Japanese.


Ikegami Akira – Bringing the News Within your Grasp — 4 Comments

  1. It’s a pity that you’ve only discovered it recently as Ikegami san officially stopped doing all television appearances at the end of March (although I believe he might have done some extra 学べるニュース things as there were a few weeks where everything was focused on the earthquake/tsunami). He says that he’ll come back if there’s any major kind of news (elections and stuff or another huge disaster – let’s hope that the second one doesn’t happen)

    Although apparently the show will still carry on, I can’t see anybody else being as knowledgeable or able to make complicated things so easy to understand as he is.

    The books are very good too, and a really good way of learning more complicated vocabulary. Also, I’ve learnt a lot about stuff that I didn’t really understand before through them, particularly to do with politics and economics, two things which I didn’t really ever try to understand properly before. Hehe.

    But yeah. It’s an awesome programme. It’s a pity that you discovered it so late though!

    Oh and he also used to do a section on some other show called 教えてMr ニュース which might be worth searching for too – it’s pretty much the same idea.

    I really wish that there had been a programme like this in the UK when I was growing up, I might have understood much more of what was going on around me if there had been!

    • Thanks for that info. Though, just because he’s done with the show doesn’t mean there aren’t a load of great episodes for people to watch. Even if the news is slightly old, it is still a lot of fun to watch.

      I’ll have to check out those books you mentioned.

      There definitely needs to be more Japanese programs like this!

      • That’s true!

        And I agree – although one of the reasons that he stopped was that he said that he didn’t need to do it any more as there were lots of programmes that explain the news now – so they must be out there somewhere! I don’t watch TV enough to stumble upon them myself though.

  2. just dropped by, actually, to mention to you that 池上彰 just did a special which aired Sunday night, called 池上彰のエネルギーを考えるSP. You can find links to streams here: http://bit.ly/nQfmzh . It was really interesting, and done in a style similar to the way he did the television show, except that much of the time he was actually out interviewing people involved in different aspects. I would never have known about him, or the show, if it hadn’t been for this post so I felt like I should drop by and give you this head’s up as a thanks. I’ve learned a ton of Japanese just from watching this, and learned a ton about the world while doing so. BTW, the show carries on. From what I can tell, they bring in an expert each week to do the show, based on whatever area the main subject of that episode is. Those can also be found at http://bit.ly/mUATE1 (which is, in general, a great way to find lots of Japanese television on streaming sites like youtube, FC2, etc).

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