Shows off his bodybuilding form as past of educational program with soulful saxophone soundtrack.

Many of you no doubt recall that last month we introduced you to Tatsumasa Murasame. Perhaps Murasame remained in your memory because he was born in Sweden as Jakob Björk, the name he went by before becoming a naturalized Japanese citizen. There’s also a chance that his profession, traditional Japanese gardening, is an unusual one for someone not raised in the country.

Or maybe, just maybe, you remember Murasame because he’s incredibly, incredibly muscular.

▼ Murasame, wearing half of his gardening outfit

But now Murasame can add another unique entry to his professional resume: getting paid to silently do pushups for NHK, Japan’s national public broadcaster.

On August 27, NHK debuted a new series titled Bodybuilding for Everyone (Minna no Kinniku Taisou in Japanese). As the title suggests, the program’s purpose is to present muscle-building exercises that are easy for viewers to do at home, relying on body weight for resistance and requiring no special equipment or spotter.

▼ The workout sessions, which Murasame participates in with actor Shinji Takeda and lawyer Kota Kobayashi, are occasionally preceded by soulful saxophone music.

Each episode begins with an instructor (who’s also extremely buff) describing the day’s exercise/target muscles. But while the instructor narrates, Murasame (who’s now registered with Japanese media talent agency YMN) and his fellow demonstrators are completely silent, with earnest expressions on their faces that are as stoically solid as their musculatures.

▼ The first episode of Bodybuilding for Everyone’s currently planned four episodes, focusing on push-ups

So far, audience reactions have been positive, with some various viewers expressing their fondness for the sight of buff bodies, informative fitness tips, and surreal comedic potential.

“I’m totally in love with the buff instructors of Everyone’s Bodybuilding.”
“It’s surreal seeing Shinji Takeda just exercising with some lawyer and gardener. Laughed so much I think my abs got a good workout.”
“The gardener has the best form.”
“No one says a single word, but the gardener has a serious on-screen presence.”

Even the show itself seems to realize there’s something perhaps a little silly about its premise, with one of its ads parodying those for Wonder Core, one of Japan’s longest-selling mail order abdominal exercise contraptions.

Bodybuilding for Everyone is airing nightly on NHK from 11:50 to 11:55 p.m. The brief runtime probably leaves viewers with a little bit of time before they go to bed, but whether they want to spend it trying the exercises for themselves or simply replaying the mental images of the demonstrators’ bodies in motion is up to them.

Featured image: Instagram/tatsumasa.murasame
Top image: YouTube/NHK
[ Read in Japanese ]