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8 Indoor Japanese Games to try out during the Coronavirus

Looking for some indoor Japanese games to play during the coronavirus outbreak? Check out some fun and simple Japanese indoor games for kids in Japan that are both fun to play and a wonderful way to pass the time.

Children have been confined to their homes for months due to the Coronavirus, a global epidemic that has halted the world’s activities. Children’s routines have been altered as isolation has become the new norm. What are the finest Japanese indoor games? Whether it’s a global coronavirus outbreak, a snowfall, a typhoon, or a heatwave, you need those sometimes. Try learning one of these wonderful indoor Japanese games to keep the family entertained during the coronavirus school shutdown before boredom sets in!


Janken (Rock, Paper, Scissors)

Japanese indoor games
Rock paper scissors(janken) is one of the famous Japanese indoor games,i.e a two-person hand game in which each participant produces one of three shapes with an outstretched hand at the same time. “Rock” (a closed fist), “paper” (a flat hand), and “scissors” are the three shapes (a fist with the index finger and middle finger extended, forming a V). “Scissors” is the same as the two-finger V sign (which also means “victory” or “peace”), only it is held horizontally rather than upright in the air.

It’s a simultaneous, zero-sum game with only two conceivable outcomes: a draw or one player winning and the other losing. A player who chooses rock will defeat a player who chooses scissors (“rock crushes scissors” or “blunts scissors”[4]), but will lose to a player who chooses paper (“paper covers rock”); a play of paper will defeat a play of scissors (“scissors cuts paper”). The game is tied if both players choose the same shape, and it is frequently repeated to break the tie. The game originated in China and spread throughout East Asia as a result of greater contact, with numerous variants in signs emerging over time.


How to Play

“Saisho wa guu,” or “fists first,” is chanted by each player as they raise their fist. Then, on “pon” of “Janken pon,” players show a guu, a rock, a choki, a pair of scissors, a paa, or a piece of paper. Rock outperforms scissors, scissors outperform paper, and paper outperforms rock. If all of the players chose the same thing, the following sentence is “aiko de sho,” which simply signifies that the Janken will occur once more.

A “make you look” game is an optional second component of Japanese Janken. When two people are playing Janken, the winner shouts “acchi muite hoi” while pointing a finger on “hoi” to the left, right, up, or down, near to their opponent’s face.

On “hoi,” the opponent must move their head in a different direction to the way the other’s finger is pointing. The individual pointing wins if both the finger and the head are pointing in the same direction. It’s a tie if the finger and the head are pointing in opposite directions, then the Janken match is restarted.

Origami Fortune Teller

japanese indoor games
To build an origami fortune teller, fold one corner of a square piece of paper to the other to form a triangle. After you’ve created this, wrinkle the other two corners to form an X in the middle of the paper. Then fold each corner to the middle of the X, forming a smaller square. Then, flip the paper over and fold each corner to the centre once again. This provides four pockets for each hand’s index finger and thumb to fit inside.

Fill in each square on the top flaps with a different colour (the standards are yellow, red, blue, and green). On the eight triangles visible one layer inside, write the numerals 1 through 8. Finally, fortunes are written on the very inside of the origami! You can write four or eight fortunes, such as “You’ll be extremely wealthy!” or “You’ll discover a new boyfriend!”


How to Play

The ‘fortune teller’ instructs the other person to choose a colour by putting their index fingers and thumbs inside the flaps of the origami square. They open the origami one way, then the other as the fortune teller writes out the chosen colour. After the last letter is said, the other person chooses one of the numbers on the inside of the origami. The fortune-teller alternates flapping the origami again while counting. This happens twice before the other person chooses their final number and the fortune teller may read their fortune from the origami! “You’re in for a pleasant surprise.”


Daihinmin or Daifugo (Presidents)

Daihinmin or Daifugo (Presidents)
A conventional deck of 52+2 cards can be used to play one of the most popular Japanese card games. During each round of Daihinmin (very poor guy) or Daifugo (extremely rich man), you aim to advance up in rank from low to high. You must get rid of all of your cards before your opponents in order to advance in the game and become Daifugo. You are Daihinmin if you are the last to discard your cards.

The rules are as follows:

From strongest to weakest, the card values are as follows: 2-A-K-Q-J-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3.

The highest card, 2, is unbeatable, and the lowest card, 3, is the weakest. The jokers, which might be one or both in the game, are wild cards that can be used to replace any other card.


How to Play

The number of players in the game is divided evenly among the 52 cards plus the jokers. Depending on who places their cards down first (select this person with Janken! ), they can play a single card, a pair of the same number cards, a triple or quadruple card set, or a triple or quadruple card set.

Going clockwise, each player must place cards in the centre that are higher than the preceding one, as well as matching the number of cards in the middle. If person 1 places a pair of threes, person 2 must place a pair of any card higher than three (or one card plus a joker to make a pair).

If you don’t have any cards higher than the ones already in the middle, you can choose to ‘pass.’ After everyone has passed, the round is won by the person who was the last to put down a card and gets to start the following round with their lowest cards. The Daifugo is the first to run out of all of their cards, followed by the Fugo. The game continues until there are only two players left: Fugo, who is second to last, and Daihinmin, who is the loser.


Ayatori (Cat’s Cradle)

japanese indoor games
Ayatori, or forming shapes with your hands with a circle of string, is one of the earliest forms of self-entertainment. Although there is a learning curve to being quick at constructing string forms, it’s wonderful to surprise friends and family with your ayatori masterpieces once you’ve learned the basics. Because you have to make sure the rope doesn’t get tangled with each step, this game teaches kids patience and sharpens their perception.

At least one string, around 140-160 cm long, with the ends knotted together to form a circle is required. If you wish to make your own masterpieces, each individual can have their own string, or two people can play with one string.


How to Play

If you’re playing ayatori alone, try building a witch’s broom, the Eiffel Tower, a star, or Jacob’s Ladder. You can succeed in ayatori by carefully wrapping the strings around your fingers and palm and ensuring that there is enough slack in the string.


Before attempting to play ayatori with two people, it’s better to get the hang of it solo. It becomes a competition when two persons play ayatori. Player 1 creates a shape with the ayatori, then player 2 must take the string from player 1 by creating a new shape with it. Whoever tangles the string makes a mistake and loses.


Shiritori (The Vocabulary Game)

Shiritori (The Vocabulary Game)
Shiritori is a popular Japanese vocabulary game that is perfect for learning Japanese or sharpening young minds. It’s ideal for long days spent indoors or family road excursions. The name “Shiritori” is divided into two sections, each of which explains the game’s rules.

Shiri is a Japanese word that means “backside” or “back end.” Tori will be the one to take. As the name of the game implies, the participants will take the kana at the end of a word and create a new word.


How to Play

  • Two or more individuals can play at the same time.
  • It’s only allowed to use nouns.
  • Because no Japanese word begins with that character, a player who plays a term ending in the mora N () loses the game.
  • It is forbidden to use the same words twice.
  • Phrases linked by “no” (の) are allowed, but only if the phrase has become sufficiently fossilised to be called a “word”.

Example: sakura (さく) → rajio (ラジ) → onigiri (おにぎ) → risu (り) → sumou (すも) → udon (うどん). The player who will use the word ”udon” lost this game.


Kakurenbo (Hide and Seek)

japanese indoor games
Hide-and-seek is a popular children’s game in which at least two (typically three) participants hide in a specified setting, hoping to be discovered by one or more seekers. The game is played by one player (dubbed “it”) counting to a predefined number with their eyes closed while the other participants remain hidden. When the player who is “it” reaches this number, he or she cries out “Ready or not, here I come!” or “Coming, ready or not!” and then tries to locate all hidden players.

There are various ways in which the game can end. The most typical way to conclude the game is for the player chosen as “it” to locate all participants; the player who is discovered first is the loser, and the next game’s “it” is picked. The player who is last to be located is the winner. The hiders can either stay hidden or emerge out of hiding to race to home base; once they touch it, they are “safe” and cannot be tagged. Hiders in Ohio[citation needed] must cry “free” as they touch base or risk being tagged out. If the seeker tags another player before returning to home base, that player is known as “it” or “the seeker.”


How to Play

While everyone else conceals, the designated seeker, the (oni, demon), covers their eyes and counts to ten. When they reach 10, they question the other players, “mou ii kai?” meaning “Are you ready?” “mou ii yo!” or “I’m ready!” can be spoken if the others are ready. If they need extra time to find a good hiding spot, they can shout “mada da yo!”

The seeker can begin looking for the others once everyone has said: “mou ii yo.” “Mitsuketa!” or “I found you!” can be said by the seeker when they find someone. The next demon has to be the first person discovered!



Darumasan Ga Koronda (Red light, Green Light)

japanese indoor games
This game is named after the daruma doll, a circular, red figurine with a bearded man depicted on the front. “The Daruma tumbled over,” Darumasan Ga Koronda means. If you want to play this game indoors with your kids, you’ll need a rather lengthy hallway in your house.


How to Play

The Daruma, the person who is “it,” stands at one end of the corridor, while the other participants begin at the opposite end. “Darumasan Ga Koronda!” the Daruma exclaims as they turn away from the others. The other players rush towards the Daruma when he or she speaks. On the final sentence, the Daruma swiftly spins around to face the others, who must remain still. If the Daruma notices someone moving, they signal them to be transported back to the beginning.

The goal of this game is for moving players to come close enough to the Daruma to tag her or him. Everyone else returns to the start once the Daruma has been tagged, and the Daruma switches.


Did you know that Daruma is the inspiration of the saying “fall down seven times, stand up eight?” They are constantly tumbling over and getting back up!



japanese indoor games
The basic mahjong rules apply to the Japanese version as well. Groups (mentsu) are valid collections of three tiles that are classified into triplets (kotsu) and sequences (shuntsu). Four of the same tile can also be used to make a quad.

By requesting another player’s discard, players can form a meld (open group). They make their own discard after revealing the meld on the table. When a player requests another player’s discard, the group and the hand become exposed. When a closed hand’s winning tile is a discard, the group that includes that discard is also considered open. Though the hand remains closed. The calls work precisely like any other mahjong game, with the exception that Japanese vocabulary is utilised.

These are some of the most effective ways to pass the time during the pandemic.

You can pass the time while staying indoors. Due to the coronavirus by trying out these Japanese indoor games and hobbies.

I hope this article has given you some ideas for Japanese indoor games to play at home!

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