Japanese game

YO!! Yeah, I did it!!

Tina
Tina
Iroha
Iroha

What are you doing, Tina?

It’s Japanese bilboquet. I’ve been practicing hard, so now I’m a master of it!! See?!

Tina
Tina
bilboquet(Kendama)
Iroha
Iroha

Wow~~, you are very good!!

I’m so into it lately. Japanese traditional games are so much fun.

Tina
Tina
Iroha
Iroha

Right. Well, let me introduce some Japanese traditional games today.

~Japanese games~

1. Top (Koma)

It’s a toy with a stick stuck in the center of a rotor made of wood or metal, and played spinning by a string or your finger.

Top(Koma)

Play Top(Koma)

Actually, it is said to originate in Egypt and it has already existed since around 1500 BC.

In Japan, since it was discovered in archaeological sites around the 7th century, it is believed that it has been already inherited during the Heian era. However, at that time, it was more used for fortune-telling at the event of God rather than game.

In the Genroku era (1688 ~ 1704), it became popular as a show. Even a prohibition order was issued several times since people got too crazy about it. Since then, it still has been very popular among common people, and when ‘Beigoma’’s debut which is a top, made of iron, came out to be a huge vogue.

Types of tops are categorized into "Maki(means Rolling) top" and "Nage(means Throwing) top" which are spined with a string, and "Hineri(means Twisting) top" which is spined with your finger. We also have an "Chikyu(means the Earth) top" based on the principle of the gyroscope.

2. Menko

A play with a card mainly made of paper. You strike your card on the ground with a heavy impact to make the other’s cards turn over. There are various types of cards, such square or circle shapes. It was very popular in the Showa era (1926-1989) and was sold in Japanese mom-and-pop candy stores at that time.

The origin is said to be in the Heian era (794-1185). From then, "Doro(means Mud) Menko" in the Edo era and" Namari(means Lead, metal material) Menko" in the Meiji era got widespread.

Menko
Menko

There are many ways to play it, but the most common one is called "Okoshi-Asobi" (means Play of turning over). Place Menko(s) on the ground and strike yours from above on your turn. In this game, the winner receives Menko(s) from the losers, so everyone plays so seriously. Some people seemed to cheat on this game though...

3. Ohajiki

Play with a flat glass chip, which diameter of 1 cm to 1.5 cm. You flip them and hit each other. There are various types of glass chips, such as transparent, colored and small patterned one.

Ohajiki
Ohajiki

The Ohajiki game is said to be introduced from China, and was played in the palace during the Heian era.

To play, first you scatter Ohajiki on a hard, flat surface such as a table or floor. Then flip your favorite Ohajiki with your fingertips. The Ohajikis which you hit will be yours. Repeat this several times with a few people, and the winner is the one who got the most Ohajikis.

This is the basic rule of the game, but we add various rules to enhance the game for more entertaining.

4. Otedama

A small hand-made clothing bag toy with red beans, raw rice, or beads inside. It’s called "Juzudama," "Ojami," "Oninku" and "Ishinago" in some particular areas.

Otedama
Otedama

Like juggling, you throw Otedama to the height above your head and catch it. At that time, we often sing a song with the ‘catch and release’ rhythm. The songs sung with it are "Antagata Dokosa" and "Moshi Moshi Kameyo" etc…

There are various theories in the history of Otedama. The one is said that they were invented during the Middle Kingdom of ancient Egypt, as a 4000 years theory. Another is a theory which says it started among nomads around the Black Sea, or, also there’s another theory that it started with Prince Shotoku, who was a member of the Japanese imperial family during the Asuka era (592-710).

5. Shabondama

Shabondama is a play outdoors. You blow into a liquid film, make sphere bubbles, and fly them. "Shabon" means "Soap" and is derived from the Spanish word of the 16th century, Xabón (Shabon). (Modern Spanish "Habon") It seemed to be popular during the Edo era, and "Shabondama" is set as one of the seasonal words for Haiku.

Shabondama
Shabondama

Also, we have a nursery song called "Shabondama '' written by Ujo Noguchi, composed by Shinpei Nakayama, it's a very well known song like every Japanese knows.

Iroha
Iroha

5 of Japanese traditional games were introduced today. Since we have more and more traditional games in Japan, I'd like to introduce some next time!!

Yo!! Ho!!

Tina
Tina
Iroha
Iroha

Tina, you‘ve been playing so long though, is your homework done, which we are supposed to submit tomorrow?

Ouchi……not at all yet…

Tina
Tina

Iroha, show me♡

Tina
Tina
Iroha
Iroha

Nope!!! Do it all by yourself.

Wow pleeeeese!!

Tina
Tina

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