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Headscratchers / Ninja Warrior

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  • Some of the contestants' occupations are confusing. There have been people on that show who work as gas station attendants, laundromat employees, and burger flippers, and they're all ripped like Jet Lee.
    • Maybe Japan likes to take better care of themselves than here in the US. Then again, some of those people that have crazy occupations don't get too far on the first round due to Ninja Warrior focusing on making the game Unwinnable.
      • While it's true most don't make it through two obstacles, the gas station attendant (Shingo Yamamoto) is one of the best players around, is the only player to be there every tournament, and is expected to win it eventually.
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    • Some people happen to use a lot of their spare time keeping themselves in good shape instead of merely decent shape (and sometimes have a non-paying local volunteer job like teaching sports or martial arts), and the ones that enter Ninja Warrior often spend much of their "spare" time training specifically for Ninja Warrior. It's not that ripped people are common in such occupations, it's just that you don't see out-of-shape people competing seriously on ninja warrior and that sort of occupation happens to be more common (and more likely to care about going through so much just to win a tournament than someone with a job that already made them rich and/or famous).
    • This was something I've been thinking about for a long time too, the seemingly random occupations that have nothing to do with their agility or strength. And I think the two biggest underlying reasons are that 1) Being ripped doesn't pay the bills unless you're famous and/or an actor, so you have to be good at something else that DOES give you a reliable paycheck, and 2) Humility is very pervasive in Japanese culture, and people are expected to downplay their strengths. It really came to my attention when American Ninja Warrior was new and was full of people for whom tip-top agility and strength ARE parts of their job descriptions—bodybuilders, circus performers, gymnasts, Olympic athletes, fitness instructors, martial arts instructors—and they performed no better than the weatherman, the IT guy, the fisherman, the chef, or in an extreme case, a homeless man. Eventually, the people for whom feats of physical ability are their job mostly stopped coming and you got the same random jobs the Japanese version has. Another factor I've heard is that professionals at physical ability may suffer Crippling Overspecialization—that is, circus performers know how to do one or a few routines really well but may suffer when trying something they never practiced for; and gymnasts can do gymnastics-related stuff well but aren't necessarily so good at the Warped Wall or rope climbs. That being said, professional rock climbers seem to do REALLY well in Ninja Warrior, an occupation that DOES require a lot of strength, endurance, and flexibility.

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