is a board game played by two people. The board is made up of a 19 ?~
19 grid with 361 intersections. Black and white stones are used. Each
player takes it in turn to place his stone on the board. The idea of the
game is to capture the most territory. There are so many different
possibilities with this game, it takes many years to become a reasonable
player. NHK often have programs on the game. There are two professional
organizations, the Nihon Kiin and the Kansai Kiin.
oriental relation to chess. Each player has twenty pieces. The idea, as
in chess, is to capture the king. This is quite an ancient game. As with
Go, players are ranked by their skill. The Japan shogi Association has
many professional members. Both Go and Shogi are thought to have been
introduced to Japan from China. Shogi's origins trace back to India.
introduced to Japan in the early 1920's. It still remains a very
popular, but complex game, which can be noisy at times. This is one way
people in Japan relax and gamble informally (illegally). There are also
many Mahjong parlors across Japan.
racing was introduced in its Western form in the late 19th century by the
foreign community, living in Yokohama. It did not become popular, however,
until after the second World War. In Japan horse racing is not "a
sport of kings" but of the common man.
was started in 1948 to stimulate the Japanese economy and help the bicycle
industry. It was one of the top gambling sports at one stage. Today it
still retains some popularity.
is a recent addition in Japan. I don't think it is quite as popular
as bicycle racing. Women also compete in this sport for big prize money.
lottery tickets cost 300 Yen each and the top prize for a single ticket is
60.000.000 Yen. The draw is held twice a year winter and summer. There are
also other lottery draws, with smaller prize money.
the most popular form of gambling. Pachinko parlors are liberally spread
all over Japan. The parlors are amazingly noisy places, often filled with
If you have never seen a Pachinko machine, it can be described in a simple
fashion as follows:
spring mechanism is used to fire a steel ball up a vertical board with
various holes in it. There are nails and other devices to deflect the
ball. It is not an easy game to win at.
parlors employ professionals to adjust the nails in the boards, to make it
more difficult to win. However, there are people who devote themselves to
the game and some even make a very comfortable living just from winning at
pachinko. This is a popular game for many types of people. The flashing
lights and the different themes used for the pachinko machines, make it
almost like a narcotic. I have tried a few times. Each time I spent 1.000
Yen and lost it in about 5 minutes. Many housewives have taken up playing
pachinko, leaving their small children in their cars or unattended at
home. This has led quite often, to tragic results, especially in the
summer, when the thoughtless parents leave children in cars with windows
closed, and so on. Some pachinko parlors, recently have decided to open
small children, while their mothers gamble.
To win a player must first win many steel balls. They are gathered into
when the player has finished, he takes his boxes to be weighed, depending
on the weight, the player receives a receipt, which he can then exchange
Even if you don't like gambling, as I don't, you should try just once for
the novel experience of pachinko.
art takes the holistic approach.
Do (g¹)= way
Judo (?_g¹) = The way of softness
Kendo (Œ•g¹) = Way of the sword
Kyudo (‹|g¹) = Way of the bow
Karatedo (‹óŽèg¹)= Way of the empty hand
Plus the other Do (ways) are collectively called Budo (•?g¹),
the way of the warrior (martial arts)
The roots of Judo go back to ancient Jujutu. In the early Meiji period
Kano Jigoro, a Tokyo University student created and gave the name
Judo. He was skilled at Jujutu and believed that Judo makes a good tool
for physical education. Combining both physical and mental strengths,
offensive and defensive techniques, when practices helped to cultivate the
whole person and achieve mastery of the discipline. He founded the Kodokan
school of Judo in 1882. The International Judo Federation was established
in 1951, Japan became a member in 1952.
Kodokan rules require that wrestlers dress in regulation uniforms. The
floor space must be 14.55 meters square, with a 9.1 meters square center
area, on which the contestants wrestle.
There are three categories of Waza (‹Z): Naga-waza (throwing),
Katame-waza (grappling) and Atemi-waza (attacking vital points).
Wrestlers are ranked according to their ability, the system of Dan (fi:
ranks) and Kyu (‹ñ: classes). The highest rank is 10th Dan and the
lowest Shodan (?ñfi: beginner). Below Shodan are the Kyu, 1 to 5
(lowest). There are different color belts for each rank:
1st-3rd Kyu-brown belt
Shodan-5th Dan- black belt
6th-8th Dan- Red and White striped belt
9th and 10th Dan - Red belt.
The Samurai in ancient Japan needed to be skilled with his sword, Kenjutsu
was the basic means of practice. Early in the 20th century it developed
into a martial art, with emphasis on spiritual and moral training and
became known as Kendo.
After the end of the last World War, Kendo became established as an
important sport in Japan. With junior and high schools adding to the
physical fitness programs. There are many Dojo (g¹?ê: training
centers) throughout the country. The International Kendo Federation was
founded in 1970, establishing Kendo as an international sport.
Kyudo or Kyujutsu
is another ancient Japanese sport. Kyudo has not changed very much since
those times. It is still quite a popular sport, many young women enjoy it.
originated in the Tang dynasty (618 - 907) of China and was developed in
Okinawa, where it became known as Karate (Tang hand) .
Karate was practiced in secret by the commoners, who could not bear arms.
There are four main schools of Karate and thousands of schools around the
A unique Japanese martial art. It is purely for defensive purposes and
therefore does not make a good sport for contests. A large part of Aikido
is spiritual, and relies on throws and holding techniques to protect and
defend against attack. There are no
attacking techniques. The origins of Aikido are quite new, named and
organized in the 1920's.