NHK’s “Pitagora-Switch” on Japanese public TV

Pythagoras Switch.
WTF is a “Pitagora-Switch”?
In Japanese pitagorasuichi (ピタゴラスイッチ) is how say in engrish Pythagoras Switch. Despite that mouthful of a name, this educational television show on NHK is a quite fun science program for kids (like me). Watch the Google-Video of the “beautiful mechanism” program segment in which the “Pitagora device” goes into action.
So what is the “Pitagora device” all about? The show targets four to six year old children to help foster and develop their powers of of thinking. Here’s my loose translation of the mission statement the “Pythagoras Switch” children’s show….

NHK’s “Pitagora-Switch”
Within our daily lives, which we go about without thinking much about the many mysteries, archetypes, themes and more varied ways of thought. For example, have you ever thought why waffles are always the same shape? Behind it all is concept of “having a shape.” There all sorts of these archetypes/shapes: in print, in mass-produced goods and whatnot. Understanding these these “shapes” let’s you grasp how these things work.
“Pythagoras Switch” wants to help kids have that moment of A-HA! We want to raise thinking about thinking, to flip that epiphany switch in every child.

Read a machine-translated version of the official website of NHK’s Pythagoras Switch at:
Translated version of
Mo’ betta than Teletubbies or sold-their-soul-to-Satan-long-ago Sesame Street!

PS: Be sure to check out this other gr-r-r-eat Rube Goldberg device!

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I'm a pale, alien, quadruped who has worked for 25+ years at "Maybe-the-Largest Inc." in Tokyo.

5 thoughts on “NHK’s “Pitagora-Switch” on Japanese public TV”

  1. I like the Pythagorean maxim “abstain from beans” which is much better than the ARUGORIZUMU taisou (“algorithm march” ) on thePitagoraswitch TV show.

    Pythagoreans also believed that the earth itself was in motion and that the laws of nature could be derived from pure mathematics. They may have coined the term cosmos, a term implying a universe with orderly movements and events like the “beautiful pitagorasuichi mechanism.” Now what the the connection is to Pitagoraswitch is beyond me. I need to watch the show to expand my mind.

  2. First it is the pitagora, in a few years itll be the pachinko for these kids. This is beyond sad.

  3. YouTube - Schadaraparr video: “Disco System”

    Via Pink Tentacle
    The Japanese group, Schadaraparr, has a music video for their new single “Disco System” featuring themselves as a ‘Pitagora-Switchi.’


  4. All over the world, these kinds of ” pitagorasuicchi” machines are named after whatever cultural touchpoint introduced the concept. Rube Goldberg wasn’t the first, just the most memorable influence on the idea, in the US.
    —Great Britain: a Heath Robinson contraption, named after the fantastical comic machinery illustrated by British cartoonist W. Heath Robinson, shares a similar meaning but predates the Rube Goldberg machine, originating in the UK in 1912.
    —Denmark: called Storm P maskiner (“Storm P machines”), after the Danish inventor and cartoonist Robert Storm Petersen (1882 – 1949).

    For Japan, it was the pitagorasuicchi show that people remember.

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