NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/10/19


おはじき遊び Ohajiki-asobi Ohajiki (Flat Marbles) Game

Jp En

Ohajiki is a traditional game enjoyed by Japanese children, especially girls. Its name comes from the flicking (“hajiku” in Japanese) of fingers that is done to ohajiki (flat glass marbles) with a diameter of about 12 mm.

The game dates back to the Nara period (710-794), when it was introduced from China. In those days pebbles were used to play, and the game was called “Ishi-hajiki (stone flicking).” It was mainly enjoyed among the nobility at the Imperial court. It was in the Edo period (1603-1868) when the game began to be played by girls. In the late Meiji period (1868-1912), glass marbles appeared.

To play the game, players scatter the ohajiki on a flat surface and then take turns hitting one piece against another with the flick of a finger. If a player is successful, she can get the other player’s ohajiki. The player with the most pieces wins. Ohajiki marbles are cute-looking stuff and the game is enjoyable even for adults.
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2007/2/23


囲碁 Igo Igo

Jp En

Igo is a match-up board game, in which two players alternately place black and white stones on the vacant intersections of line grid on the board called “Goban.” The objective is to control a larger territory than the opponent’s by placing one’s stones tactically. Igo originated in ancient Chinese horoscope, which was carried out around 2000 years ago, and it was gradually changed into the present form. Igo was introduced into Japan in the Nara period (710-794), when it gained popularity among noblemen and priests. In the Edo period, it came to be played by the general public and “Gokaijo (Igo play house)” were established in towns. The Shogunate encouraged the establishment of Go academy and the schools of Honinbo, Yasui, Inoue, and Hayashi competed each other. After the Meiji Restoration, the school system was abolished and anyone could challenge to be a professional Igo player through ability. In these days a manga story has created Igo boom among the young generation, and a lot of young people have become interested in Igo. Igo is also played on the Internet. It can be said that full-scale inernationalization of Igo game has gotten under way.
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2007/2/19


竹馬 Takeuma Japanese Stilt-Walking

Jp En

Walking on stilts was an activity that began in China. It came to Japan during the Heian period.

Stilt-walking is a game that uses sticks of bamboo with some kind of peg as foothold. There are two types of stilt-walking. The first one, which was enjoyed by children in China, was a game using one bamboo like a witch's broom. The other type is the famous one, which is enjoyed by Japanese children.

Even today, children enjoy the common form of stilt-walking, using two sticks with footholds. It is said that stilt-walking is good for training muscles and to get a sense of balance.

Nowadays, there are stilt-walking competitions held as sports, and the activity is beloved by many people.
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