Come for the sex appeal, stay for the Japanese history lessons.
Last year, executives at Japanese broadcaster Fuji TV hit upon the idea of combining two things much of Japan has shown an unwavering interest in: the country’s feudal period, and scantily dressed young women. Thus was born television series Yoroi Bijo (“Armor Beauty”), in each episode of which a different swimsuit model appears dressed in a suit of armor matching the one worn by a prominent samurai lord from Japan’s past.
During the series’ once-a-month, 30-minute installments, the featured model removes her armor, one piece at a time, eventually stripping down to just a bikini. Meanwhile, viewers hear the exploits of the samurai being highlighted and other tales of life during the era in which he lived.
▼ A preview for the episode starring Yuka Kuramochi dressed as Oda Nobunaga
The reaction to Yoroi Bijo seems to be somewhat like the one for tablet computers: initial confusion, followed by a sudden realization by certain individuals that this is something they’ve always desired, even if they weren’t conscious of the yearning. The show is currently celebrating 18 months on the air and marking the occasion with the release of a 128–page Yoroi Bijo photo album and bundled DVD (the publishers have not specified whether the DVD will only contain complete episodes, clips from the show, or new footage).
▼ Kana Fujita as Sanada Yukimura
While there have been 19 episodes of Yoroi Bijo shown to date, the album will focus on the models featured in episodes two through 19, namely Kana Fujita, Yuka Kuramochi, Hitomi Yasueda, Seira Sato, Azusa Koizumi, Suzuka Morita, Nanoka, Hikaru Aoyama, Ayuka Terada, Saki Inoue, Ryoko Tanaka, and Yukari Tachibana. On the armor side of things, they’ll be, at least sometimes, dressed in the battlefield attire of Sanada Yukimura, Oda Nobunaga, Uesugi Kenshin, Naoe Kanetsugu, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Kuroda Kanbei, Tachibana Muneshige, Minamoto no Yoshitsune, Otomo Yoshishige, Honda Tadakatsu, Kato Kiyomasa, and Kuroda Nagamasa.
The Yoroi Bijo photo album and DVD bundle goes on sale October 26, and can be ordered domestically from Amazon Japan here, priced at 3,780 yen (US$37).