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[FFFA] じゃんけんぽん!

0 Ish Good!

Hi all! Welcome to another Friday Free-For-All!

Today's strip should look familiar to just about everyone!

Jan Ken Pon is one of those games we all seem to grow up with as kids. Costs nothing, breaks ties, makes winners out of us average Joes/Janes and it's mostly up to chance! Since most should know the basics of Rock, Paper, Scissors, I'll just spend some time chatting about how things differ in Japan and Hawaii.

The Start
While the Japanese start the game with "最初はぐー" ("Saisho wa Gu-" or "Starting with the Rock"), Hawaii folks usually just start with "Jan Ken Po" (note the absence of the "n" on "Pon".) In fact, as a kid, I remember just calling out "Junkennapo".

The Hand
While we all know the English names, here are their Japanese equivalents:

Rock = "Gu-"
Paper = "Pa-!"
Scissors = "Choki"

These terms aren't just for Jan Ken Pon - you might notice young Japanese girls use them when making hand signals when taking pictures. Try it yourself! (Just remember to keep the syllables short if you call them out while you make the picture - it'll work like saying "cheese!")

The Follow Up
Sometimes we tie - what do we do?

In Japan, they call out tie breaker with "あいこでしょ!" ("Aiko desho?" or "That's a tie, isn't it?".) In Hawaii, I think it "Americanized" in a rather strange way - I remember saying, "I canna show!", regardless of making a tie or winning a round. Interesting, isn't it - how words (and games too!) change over time and overseas?

Have a great weekend everyone!

Share your thoughts

1 Reply

  • Ducky

    Yay for jan-ken-pon! Just wanted to share: my sister and I recently caught on to the "second round" of jan-ken-pon. It's actually mentioned in the Wikipedia article! (much more coherent than me trying to explain it :P)

    "In some versions of the game, a second round of play is used. After one player has won the paper/scissors/stone game, another count of three is conducted with the phrase "acchi muite hoi!" (あっち向いてホイ!, "acchi muite hoi!"?) ("hey, look [turn] over there!"). On "hoi!", the player who won previously points in one of four directions (up, down, left, or right), and the player who lost previously tilts their head to look in one of those directions. If both directions are the same, the game is over, and the player pointing is declared the final winner; if the directions are not the same, the game reverts back to the original "jan ken pon" and the original winner's win is cancelled."

    ^_^ Go nemu*nemu!