Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How to decide just about anything in Japan

Here is a game we played together at our church picnic last week. Q: What in the world is this group of adults doing? A: Playing the rock, paper, scissors game of course! In Japan any child from 3 years on up knows rock, paper, scissors, called "jan-ken-pon" in Japanese. It is the classic way of deciding just about anything. Observe Japan carefully and you will see kids and adults doing this everywhere.

We might think this game is an American invention, but the story goes that jan-ken-pon is based on an ancient game in Japan involving gestures for a snake, frog, and slug. Don't ask me to tell you how one decides the winner of that kind of battle, but perhaps it was an enjoyable picnic game back then, too.

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