Photo: GaijinPot
lifestyle

Exploring Japan through kid’s games

1 Comment
By GaijinPot

By now, most people have binged the Netflix series "Squid Game." You might even be looking for more survival films and discovered Miike Takashi’s "Kami-sama no Iu Tori" or "As The Gods Will" — an equally bloody film that uses children’s games. 

Why is a children’s game important enough to base an entire movie around? It could be because children’s games are a great way to learn more about a country’s attitudes and culture. And sometimes children’s games are pretty grim.

The monk farted

monk-smiling-istock-.jpg
Photo: iStock: Davidf

In one of "As The Gods Will’s" most famous scenes—spoilers—students play a game known in Japan as darumasan ga koronda, or “the daruma falls” in English. 

In this game, one child faces away and says, “darumasan (a traditional Buddhist doll) ga koronda” before quickly looking back at the other kids—who are quickly sneaking up to tag them. However, if the child who is “it” turns around and sees someone moving, they’re out.  

Sound familiar? In the West, it’s called red light, green light. Its Korean counterpart is also "Squid Game’s" most memorable moment. But, of course, in "Squid Game" and "As The Gods Wills," the masterminds gleefully murder everyone who’s “out.” 

Darumasan ga koronda also has several regional variations. In Kanto and Kansai, it might tell us about the regions’ different cultures. For example, a regional stereotype of Osaka is that people are a bit rougher than their more refined cousins in Tokyo. Perhaps then, that’s why darumasan ga koronda is sometimes called bosan ga hewokoita, or “the monk farted” in Osaka.

Beanbag juggling 

Click here to read more.

© GaijinPot

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

1 Comment
Login to comment

Japan's main obsessive games not mentioned, Panty Mask and Strangers Socks Collector. Yes, those were some kind of kid's game back in the 70s/80s.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites