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The Batsu Game is one of the most well-known segments in Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!!, going back to the show's debut in 1989 and continues in spirit to this day in the form of the annual No-Laughing Batsu Game.

In Japanese, batsu (罰) means "penalty", and a batsu game is played by the losers of competitions who have to perform certain tasks and achieve certain objectives. Penalty is a common element in Japanese game shows such as Gaki no Tsukai.

HistoryEdit

There are two distinct periods of Gaki no Tsukai Batsu Games, the pre-2003 and post-2003.

Before 2003, the Batsu Games are random, and there is always a challenge or tournament that precedes it.

2003 is when the first "no laughing" format appears. Initially tournaments and challenges still dictate who becomes the victors and who becomes the losers, but starting from 2007 with the No-Laughing Hospital all five members participate in the Games.

Classic Batsu GamesEdit

List of Batsu Games=Edit

The following is a complete list of batsu games featured on Gaki no Tsukai.

  • Jan. 23, 1990: Havoc Maker In The Morning News

After losing a bet (Bet aired on Jan. 16, 1990) on who would win the Kōhaku Uta Gassen singing competition, Matsumoto had to wreak havoc in the morning news show "Zoom In!! Asa!" that was broadcast live.[1]

  • May 8, 1990: Advertising the Show in a S&M Way

Matsumoto played a game of shiritori (Game aired on Apr. 24, 1990) with Hamada, with an additional rule: all words used were to contain the syllable "su" (す). Matsumoto lost the game after he repeated one of his words. As a consequence, he had to advertise Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende! on TV, in a sadomasochistic way.[1]

  • Aug. 7, 1990: Hamada 4000 Meter skydive

Hamada lost a bet (Bet aired on Jul. 24, 1990) to Matsumoto, in which they predicted who would win the 1990 Japan Series in Nippon Professional Baseball. The batsu Game would be for Hamada, who has an acute fear of heights, to skydive from a height of 4000 meters above ground.[1]

  • Dec. 25, 1990: Welcome!

Hamada won a golf game (Game aired on Dec. 11, 1990) and Matsumoto had to welcome a group of people into a room, dressed in a kimono and make-up, portraying a female Japanese hostess.[1]

  • Feb. 19, 1991: Swim In The Winter!

Matsumoto lost a baseball game (Game aired on Feb. 12, 1991) and had to swim in the chilly waters, together with his team.[1]

  • Jun. 4, 1991: Roller Coaster

This is the first time audiences are involved. Matsumoto and 500 other people competed in a dodgeball game (Game aired on May 28, 1991) with Hamada and 500 other people. Matsumoto lost the game and had to take a roller coaster ride with a bald wig.[1]

  • Jan. 19, 1992: Beeeep

This is the second time Hamada and Matsumoto bet (Bet aired on Dec. 29, 1991) on who would win the Kōhaku singing competition. Matsumoto lost and had to be part of the SMPTE color bars testcard prior to the Morning News broadcast 'Live' on TV.[1]

  • Jun. 26, 1992: The Seal

Hamada team and Matsumoto team played a rugby match (Match aired on Jun. 7, 1992) and Matsumoto lost. He had to act like a trained seal and listen to orders by his 'master' Hamada.[1]

  • Jan. 17, 1993: Am I stupid?

This was the third time Hamada and Matsumoto bet (Bet aired on Dec. 20, 1992) on who would win the Kōhaku singing competition. Matsumoto lost again and had to dress as a white dove (the mascot of Nippon Television) prior to NTV's morning programmes, singing the lyrics "Am I stupid? Am I a fool?" to the tune of NTV's opening ID, before shouting "JOAX-TV, daiyon channeru. Kochiawa, Nihon Terebi desu." (lit. "JOAX-TV, channel 4. This is Nippon Television". JOAX-TV is Nippon Television's network callsign, and announcing the callsign, channel and the network's name is customary on Japanese television)[1]

  • Jul 25, 1993: Hama-chan France Evian Trip

Matsumoto challenged Hamada to a high-jump competition (Competition aired on Jul. 11, 1993) and Hamada lost at 1.4m. He had to go to Évian-les-Bains, France with the crew to get Matsumoto a bottle of Evian mineral water straight from the source.[1]

  • Feb. 6, 1994: Matsumoto and His Mother

This was the fourth time Hamada and Matsumoto bet (Bet aired on Dec. 26, 1993) on who would win the Kōhaku singing competition. Matsumoto lost again and had to do a comedy skit with his mother on a midnight programme.[1]

  • Apr. 12, 1995: Hama-chan New York City Mechanical Pencil Trip

This was the fifth time Hamada and Matsumoto bet (Bet aired on Dec. 18, 1994) on who would win the Kōhaku singing competition. Hamada lost and had to go to New York City with Suga Kenji to fetch a mechanical pencil that Matsumoto lent to composer Ryuichi Sakamoto. On returning, Matsumoto discovers that the rubber on top of the mechanical pencil is missing so Hamada had to return to New York and recover the rubber.[1]

  • Oct. 19, 1997: Yama Head Shave

After a hidden camera skit to investigate how Yamasaki gets when drunk (aired on September the 14'th 1997) in which Yamasaki was bragging in a drunken state that if he would be given the talk segment of the show he would attract 20% more of the core audience than Downtown could. So Matsumoto and Hamada took him up on that and give him the talk segment. Yamasaki subsequently failed to get the audience behind him and in a panic runs off. The next week the viewers figures came in and showed that Yamasaki only attracted 18% of the core viewers, thus a batsu-game was decided. Yamasaki would have to skydive and while in the air have his head shaven bald, after which he was to visit every single person of the 140 people in the audience that night and apologise in person.

  • Aug. 23, 1998: Gakitanic (Gaki no tsukai — Hamada L.A. de Okan to TITANIC!!)

Hamada loses a golf challenge against the rest of the cast (Challenge aired on May 24, 1998) and must go to Los Angeles with Matsumoto's mother to shoot the love scene from Titanic.[1]

  • Apr. 25 & May 2, 1999: Hama-chan 24 hour Nittere

Hamada loses a golf challenge against the rest of the cast (Challenge aired on Oct. 18, 1998) and had to do about 30 advertisements for Nippon Television, Nittere over a 24-hour period.[1]

  • Nov. 21 & 28, 1999: Yamasaki's Hitori Bocchino piano concert

In "Gaki no tsukai - YAMASAKI Scale ga Chiisai Saiban", Yamasaki is brought into the Gaki no Tsukai court to stand trial for the scaredy-cat disposition he exhibits during events, games, and with co-workers. He gets convicted, and is forced to endure the appropriate batsu game as a consequence - a 1-night stay at the empty high-school to play a series of one-piece recitals without being scared by all the traps that were set up for him.[1]

  • Mar. 26, Apr. 2 & 9, 2000: 24-Hour Tag/Onigokko (鬼ごっこ)

A batsu game that took place over the period of 24 hours where all the cast, except Matsumoto, are locked in a sports arena, playing "tag" with various Oni (demons) (who, here,—except for two or three instances {that were on film},—were men dressed in full-body black suits) that were "summoned" to attack at random moments, each with a specific type of punishment written on the suit to be inflicted whenever the victims were tagged. This batsu game is the result of Matsumoto winning the race against the four others in "Gaki no tsukai - 4 tai 1 100m sou Taiketsu!" (on Oct. 17, 1999).[1]

  • Aug. 5, 12, 19 & 26, 2001: Haunted Hotel

After Matsumoto loses a swimming match (match aired on Feb. 11, 2001) against the other four cast members, a batsu game is set at a "haunted ryokan", where Matsumoto must remain overnight. He endures ghost apparitions, a seemingly empty samurai suit that comes alive, and random knocks on walls, among other things. The other four cast members attend to support him in controlling his fear, but end up scaring him as well.[1]

  • Aug. 4 & 11, 2002: Matsumoto Family Rangers
    (Gaki no tsukai - Souchou Matsumoto RENJAI SHOW!!)

Matsumoto's team (compiled of him and Heipo) loses to Hamada's team in a long-jump segment (long-jump aired on May 5, 2002) due to Heipo's jump failing to beat the other team and has to perform with his father, mother, older sister, and brother as a Sentai/Power Ranger team.[1]

  • Nov. 3, 2002: No-Reaction Pie Hell (ノーリアクションパイ地獄)

In this game, Matsumoto is punished for losing a bet (bet aired on Oct. 27, 2002) with Hamada over the 2002 Japan Series. In their bet, Hamada picked the Yomiuri Giants while Matsumoto picked the Seibu Lions; the Giants won the series four games to none. Matsumoto's punishment was having to spend a day at home while Hamada, Endō, Tanaka and Yamasaki threw pies at him (after showering and in bed) and everything he touched (including a television set and a toaster), non-stop. Matsumoto had to ignore all of this while following prompts from a narrator over the sound-system.[1]

  • Jul. 27, Aug. 3, 10 & 17, 2003: No-Laughing Hot Spring Inn

The first No-Laughing Batsu Game, shot in Yamanashi, it served as the punishment for Matsumoto, Yamasaki, Endō, and Tanaka, for losing to Hamada in a 4 vs. 1 bowling match (which aired on May 18, 2003). Getting caught laughing during this game resulted in having a dart from a blow-gun shot into the buttocks. Given the newness of the concept, this punishment game was carried out in a somewhat "primitive" way: the Watchers were more lenient with enforcing the rule, and the out sound blared rough over the sound-system that was set up through the facility.

  • Dec. 14 & 21, 2003: Hama-chan Vladivostok Back Hand

On Oct. 5, 2003, Hamada lost once again to Matsumoto on who would win the 2003 Japan Series, and being unable to see the front side of things, Hamada is forced to go to Vladivostok in order to receive a back hand slap to the face as part of a batsu game. During the game, everything is done in reverse; hotel rooms have everything upside down, Hamada gets pictures of himself and the backs of statues, and many people as well as streets and objects appear during the trip with 'ura' in their names (a pun on 'back') such as former Giants baseball player Hisao Niura.[1].

No-Laughing Batsu GamesEdit

The "No Laughing" Batsu Game itself (broadcast annually during the New Year's Eve starting 2007) was first introduced in 2003. The premise of each "No Laughing"-punishment game is, the losing members of the cast (up until 2007, afterwards everyone participates) have to endure many compromising, absurd, generally ridiculous situations for a long period of time (up to 24-hours, thus far) but must refrain from laughing at any of them. Whenever someone does laugh, and he is caught by A Watcher, the announcer of the game will declare that person as having just become "out" (アウト or a-u-to in Japanese); immediately afterwards, the appropriate number of "hang-men" will come out to mete the rule breaker's punishment. (To date, this has been executed via single strikes on the buttocks {or somewhere in that area} with a weapon — one which does not change mid-game.)

To keep the Gaki no Tsukai Guys on their toes, there have been occasions where other conditions besides laughing had been set that could make them out, if fulfilled; also, the "victors" of the prelim-trial (if there are any) can make appearances during games to wreak further mischief and potentially cause even more discomfort to the losers.

List of No-Laughing Games Edit

  • Jul. 27, Aug. 3, 10 & 17, 2003: No-Laughing Hot Spring Inn

The first No-Laughing Batsu Game, shot in Yamanashi, it served as the punishment for Matsumoto, Yamasaki, Endō, and Tanaka, for losing to Hamada in a 4 vs. 1 bowling match (which aired on May 18, 2003). Getting caught laughing during this game resulted in having a dart from a blow-gun shot into the buttocks. Given the newness of the concept, this punishment game was carried out in a somewhat "primitive" way: the Watchers were more lenient with enforcing the rule, and the out sound blared rough over the sound-system that was set up through the facility.

  • No Laughing in Yugawara (2004)

In a Russian Roulette style game involving sushi, Yamasaki, Tanaka, and Hamada lost and were punished in the second spa-themed no-laughing batsu game, filmed at Yugawara, Kanagawa. A Crop was the punishment device employed. Matsumoto and Endo joined the game half-way as "The Mad Brothers." This batsu game features Endō's luchador character Dynamite Shikoku.

  • No-Laughing High School (2005)

Matsumoto, Yamasaki, Endō, and Tanaka were punished after losing another Russian Roulette style game in which they shocked themselves. This time, they were sent to 'high school' for one day. The punishment weapon for this game was the shinai, and Hamada participated as one of the hang-men, frequently delivering a strong kick along with the regular punishment. It was revealed that this game was shot during Matsumoto's birthday.

  • No-Laughing Police Station (2006)

This batsu game premiered as a three-hour special. The losing players were Yamasaki, Hamada, and Endō, who lost at a Russian Roulette style game using large tubs suspended from the studio ceiling, and cutting loose the ones that fell, thus earning them a spot in the Batsu Game. The weapon used for the punishments in this game was a straightstick baton. Matsumoto and Tanaka avoided the batsu, and later appeared in the game, visiting the three punished players. The hangmen were especially rough when giving discipline to offenders.

  • No-Laughing Hospital (2007)

For this special, Downtown, Yamasaki, and Cocorico all took part of the most infamous punishment game — and they were forced to cross-dress as nurses for the game's duration. Yamasaki, who had just completed a hospital stay after being treated for enteritis, was permitted to take some absences during the game. Among the famous guests who performed here were Claudia Umemiya, Touru Emori, Takahiro Matsumoto (Hitoshi Matsumoto's older brother), Sonny Chiba, Masahiro Chono, Ryuichi Kosugi, Antonio Inoki, [[Ichiro Mizuki and Endō's ex-wife Chiaki. (As a side note, it was during this game that the record at the time for most punishment-strikes ever inflicted was set, with Hitoshi Matsumoto having received a total of 259 of them.)

  • No-Laughing Newspaper Agency (2008)

For the second time around, all five members of the regular cast took part in the annual punishment game. This year the chosen setting was a newspaper agency. The members had to go to a number of mock press conferences dressed as journalists. Endō's ex-wife |Chiaki made a guest appearance in a conference about her "new husband". In keeping with the theme of the punishment game, giant latex pencils were used to strike anyone who had been declared out., Including Mayo Kawasaki, Claudia Umemiya, Gajirou Satou and Yuuki Meguro.

  • No-Laughing Hotel Employee (2009)

For the third consecutive time, Yamazaki, Downtown, and Cocorico took part in the annual punishment game. The setting was a hotel and it aired on New Year's Eve at 6:30 pm until 12:30 am on New Year's Day. Numerous cameo and guest appearances were made, including Masahiro Chono, Masahiro Tanaka, Natsumi Ogawa ( Hamada's wife ), Endō's ex-wife Chiaki, Jyunji Endō ( Endō's younger brother), Masako Mori, Ayumi Nakamura, Monta Yoshinori, and Yoshimi Iwasaki.[2]

  • No-Laughing Spy School/Secret Agent (2010)

The members of Gaki no Tsukai took part in their fourth annual punishment game. Filmed in Ibaraki prefecture, this Batsu's setting was a spy school and it was aired on New Year's Eve at 6:30 pm to 12:30 am on New Year's Day. Over 100 celebrities were involved with the filming, including Itao Itsuji, Matsuko Deluxe, Masahiro Chono, Bibari Maeda, Claudia Umemiya, and Tatsuo Umemiya.

  • No-Laughing Airport (2011)

The Gaki no Tsukai cast participated in the 5th annual punishment game (the 6th New Years show in the No Laughing Series). The filming took place at Ibaraki Airport, in November 2011. Here Hamada, Matsumoto, Yamasaki, Endo and Tanaka were trained to become flight attendants. The broadcast began on New Year's Eve 31 December 2011 at 6:30 pm and ran through 12:30 am the next day (Japanese Standard Time). In this series, all Gaki No Tsukai members received 220 and above slaps. Matsumoto set a new record by being slapped a total of 302 times.

  • No-Laughing Enthusiastic Teachers (2012)

The Gaki no Tsukai cast participated in the 6th annual punishment game (the 7th New Years show in the No Laughing Series).Unlike before Batsu Game, this series contains two games which consist of Enthusiastic Teachers and Edo Time.On the Enthusiastic part, they were punished by the Black army unit.On the Edo time part, they were punished by Ninja squad. (This game makes the same as No-Laughing Airport series which makes the member received 200+ butt slaps)

  • No-Laughing Earth Defense Force (2013)

The Gaki no Tsukai cast participated in the 7th annual punishment game (the 8th new years show in the No Laughing Series). The theme was a 'defense force of Earth', much like the Ultra Garrison.

  • No-Laughing Prison (2014)

The Gaki no Tsukai cast participated in the 8th annual punishment game (the 9th new years show in the No Laughing Series).

  • No-Laughing Detective Agency (2015)

The Gaki no Tsukai cast participated in the 9th annual punishment game (the 10th new years show in the No Laughing Series). Unlike previous Batsu Game, this series is the first to include special guest named Masahiro Nakai of Japanese boy band SMAP participating in the first few hours of No laughing rule. This series also sets the new record for the slaps received by Hitoshi Matsumoto with 331 slaps exceeding the No-Laughing Prison Batsu's 305 slaps.


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