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Awesome Japanese Children’s Games

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Japanese children, like children from the United States, are all about having themselves a time. For children, having a time is usually done in the form of games. For adults having a time is usually in the form of drinking more than you promised yourself you would, making out with a stranger, then waking up with a headache on the floor of your friend's bathroom. 


In the U.S. children's games we are all familiar with are freeze tag, hide and go seek, red rover, and hide from Dad when he's "got that look in his eye." Japanese children's games are often way the hell cooler than that. but don't take my word for it, check them out:




This game consists entirely of kids walking around on stilts and progressively getting higher and higher up on the stilts. Of course, if the children fall even once they have dishonored their family and must absolve the shame by walking into the sea, never to be seen again.


Bosan ga He o koita


Similar to Red Light, Green Light, a children's game from the United States, the awesome factor comes from one distinct difference. The name of the game roughly means "an Umibozu farted." This sounds like just a cute little joke about farting, which we're all familiar with, until you learn that Umibozu are giant shadow spirits that live in the ocean, stealing through the dark looking for ships to capsize because the only thing they truly love to do is murder people on the ocean. 


Kagome Kagome


Awww, cute! A bunch of kids holding hands in a circle around another kid and singing. What could possibly be dark and weird about this fun little game? Oh, I don't know, maybe the fact that the child in the middle signifies an Oni or "Demon" and the point of the game is for that child to wait for the children to stop singing so he can pick another child to become the Demon. Remember cowboys and Indians? Well in Japan that game would have been "Demons and even more f*cking Demons."


Oshikura Manju


The players gather in a circle, shoving up as close as possible. They face outside, backs touching. When the game starts, the players shove backwards as hard as they can and chant "Oshikura Manju osarete nakuna", wa dare yowamushi kemushi hasannde sutero" (Oshikura Manju doesn't cry even when shoved. Who is crying? Pinch the coward and caterpillar, and throw them away). The players continue shoving each other, repeating this song over and over. How does it end? It doesn't. There's no goal to this game. The children all just push each other as hard as they can singing about hurting cowards and "throwing them away." The only possible interpretation of this game is to teach children that life is nothing more than ceaseless violence and the weak willed who can't handle it must be destroyed so that they do not weaken others with their purile moaning. Go ahead and think about that next time you and your coward friends are giggling your way through Candyland.


Yo Yo


Yo might be saying, hey we have Yo Yos here. What's the big deal with Japanese Yo Yoing. Then you click on this video. And you are never the same again.


Would you make a good Demon? If you were an Umibozu would you fart? Let us know in the comments!


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