Fun Link Friday: Japanese Children’s Games

Wanna play ____?

For many kids around the world, recess is the highlight of their school day. But the way they spend this treasured time differs from country to country, region to region and even school to school.

Japanese elementary school children love a lot of games that might be familiar abroad — tag, hide’n’go seek, cops and robbers, dodgeball, and jump rope are just a few you might find yourself watching nostalgiclly on the playgrounds there. However if a group of children came over an invited you to join them in a round of guriko, hanaichimonme, fruit basket, or takeuma you might be at a loss.

For those interested in learning about some of Japan’s most popular children’s games, check out the website Genki Morimori . The site is aimed at Japanese teachers and parents looking for game ideas, so you can practice your Japanese while reading up on the games. Each game is explained with multiple pictures and clearly detailed rules. Many also have a video (filled with laughing excited children!) to show you exactly how the game works. If you’re still struggling to understand all the rules don’t give up, you might be able to find English information about the game online if you run a search on the game name in romaji. You’ll be playing in no time!


Game entry with a photo, video, printable instructions and a summary of the game

So whether you’re looking for a game to play at international night at an elementary school, at a Japan Club get together or in your Japanese class, why not try a round of janken tsunagari oni next time?

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