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Secrets of janken

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thomas

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Janken = Rock-Paper-Scissors

"Newcomers to the land of the rising sun are invariably surprised to see grown men and women using Rock-Paper-Scissors in everyday decision-making because in the west, the game is considered to be a children's pastime. In Japan, however, it enjoys widespread acceptance as the most equitable form of resolving conflicting interests, and it also offers hours of knee-slapping enjoyment as well. Janken is played in place of the coin toss at sporting events, by doctors deciding which leg to amputate, and even by engineers at TEPCO deciding who? going to inspect those pesky cracks in the nuclear reactor."

:D

Never Pay for Beer Again: The Secrets of Janken Revealed

=> http://japan-zine.com/featurejanken.htm

Ed Jacobs, hm... must be Ed from the "Quirky Japan" page.
 

lineartube

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Well then, the Japan - N. Korea relationship problem is solved. I mean, as soon as the North Koreans learn the game.

:D:D:D:D:D
 

Hoyu

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Thomas

Horrible images of my doctor playing Janken-pon appear in my mind's eye. And images of engineers playing the game when trying to determine if duct-tape would suffice on the crack in a nuclear reactor only feeds my sci-fi imagination.

As mentioned in the article "The Secrets of Janken Revealed," The sound of one hand clapping is a Zen Koan that might distract us from these sorts of ridiculous concepts... we can thank the great Japanese Zen Master, Hakuin Zenji, for this!
 

moyashi

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I use Janken almost daily in my classes. I have 2 students up front doing mini-conversations. The students say it in English and then live with the fact. It's pretty funny because I make " winners" get the tougher part so it's hard for them to loose on purpose.

Every year my buddies (around 100+) have a big End of the Year party. We occupy a special banquet room obviously. Drinking and Eating. Janken is as much a ritual as several of them stripping nude and walking in their socks (only!) to the lew ans swinging from rafters in socks and singing Kimigayo (the national anthem). Last year, the Janken slush fund was $1500. The winner took his friends to a CABARET (it's a girly bar where touchy touchy is ok).

@ zen koan
Q : "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"
my answer : borrowing from Looney Tunes cartoons :: "Who is buried in Grant's grave?"


hehe ...
 

Maciamo

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@janken
That's not more stupid than a coin toss and certainly more entertaining, as you can win by guessing the other contestants immediate feelings.

@the sound of one hand clapping
Haven't you tried clapping your fingers on the palm ? Doesn't make much noise, but it works.
 

moyashi

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@the sound of one hand clapping
hehe, you're thinking to hard about that!
 

Maciamo

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Originally posted by moyashi
@the sound of one hand clapping
hehe, you're thinking to hard about that!
Not at all, that has been my answer since the day I was asked it.
 

Hoyu

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Zen Koans

I hope you guys aren't being serious. :p
 

kinjo

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lol,, crazy men,, doing crazy stuff!!!lolol👍
 

craftsman

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I am reviving this old thread with the following article:

If you thought "rock, paper, scissors" was a game for kids, think again. The world championships were held last weekend in Toronto and were won by a Briton.

So how did he achieve it, last week in Toronto, defeating a field of more than 500 contestants and an American in the final?

"Hard work, training and lots of research into tactics, body language and basic psychology," he says.

His sunglasses helped him to the top prize, he believes.

"It's similar to poker when you're out there bluffing, putting out the right or wrong signals. The eyes give away a lot so the shades are a definite benefit."

Cooper spent one or two hours each day training for the event, playing friends and colleagues or studying tactics.

Story from BBC NEWS 2006/11/18:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/6159658.stm
Personally I think he may be slightly mad but there is definitely something in the fact that whenever I play with my wife over who does the washing up and daily essentials like that - I always lose. I don't think she practises every day so I'm obviously giving out the wrong signals. Then I saw an article about Christie's

Christie's auction house won a ツ≫??0.5m contract by playing the game tactically
So there were tactics that my wife had never told me about.

The Maspro Denkoh electronics corporation was selling its $20 million collection of Picassos and Van Goghs, but the director could not decide whether Sotheby's or Christie's should have the privilege of auctioning them.

So he announced that the deal would go to the winner of a single round of scissors, paper, stone.

Sotheby's reluctantly accepted this as a 50/50 game of chance, but Christie's asked the experts, Flora and Alice, 11-year-old daughters of the company's director of Impressionist and modern art, and aficionados of the game.

They explained their strategy:

1. Stone is the one that "feels" the strongest
2. Therefore a novice will expect their opponent to go for stone, and will go for paper to beat stone
3. Therefore go for scissors first

Sure enough, the novices at Sotheby's went for paper, and Christie's scissors got them an enormously lucrative cut.
I wonder if little Flora or Alice, or anyone else of course, can give me more tactics and may be one day I'll get to sit down and watch TV, and it will be my wife scrubbing the dishes.
 

Toru Ranryu

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Becoming a winner

I wonder if little Flora or Alice, or anyone else of course, can give me more tactics and may be one day I'll get to sit down and watch TV, and it will be my wife scrubbing the dishes.
Winning strategies depend largely on what kind off games you're playing. If you're always playing with the same person, and neither of you are trying to cheat, it's mainly about pattern recognition. Nobody is a random number generator. Most people have one initial move they prefer over the other ones. The first step towards becoming a winner is figuring out what the other person's favorite opening is. Then it's simply a matter of countering that move with your initial move. Depending on how smart your opponent is, this will work a few times, but then they'll discover your pattern. The second step towards becoming a winner is to realize the exact moment your opponent has recognized your pattern, and then change it.
 

Maciamo

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I found out that the game has its origins in China. It was popular among warlords during the Han Dynasty, i.e. before the development of Japanese civilisation (which is why it could not possibly have originated in Japan).
 

craftsman

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(which is why it could not possibly have originated in Japan).
I wondered why you wrote this as no post here seems to say it did... but then I thought you probably met a raving nutter while in Japan who made national claims for the invention of junken.

You are of course right. Japanese sources on the internet acknowledge the fact it was inherited from China. One translated website gives the following:
According to Shogakukan's 'Nihonkokugodaijiten' dictionary, ken arrived in Kyuushuu in 1642, spread to the Osaka area by around the Edo period, and spread to Edo (now Tokyo) by about the Kyouhou period (i.e. about the 1720s). Because it first arrived in Nagasaki, it was sometimes called 'nagasakiken' or 'kiyouken' (Kiyou being the old name for Nagasaki).
But it also gives some fantastic variations on the standard paper, scissors, rock theme:

Ox-ken Village Headman (Hands on hips), Gun (Aiming rifle), Fox (Extending arms like a fox's forepaws)

Tiger-ken Hero , Tiger , Grandmother

Mushi-ken (Probably the oldest Japanese form of the game)
Frog (Thumb), Snake (First Finger), Slug (Little Finger)

Tsugaru-ken (Played in the Tsugaru area) Nikko (Like rock), Yari (Point with first finger), Hera (Like paper)

Osaka variant Rock, Scissors, Paper........ Iinjan de hoi! or In Jan Hoi!

Face-janken Purse lips, Stick out tongue, Open mouth wide

And probably the best of all for whiling away long train journeys:

Legs-janken Legs together, Legs crossed, Legs apart
 

Maciamo

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I wondered why you wrote this as no post here seems to say it did... but then I thought you probably met a raving nutter while in Japan who made national claims for the invention of junken.
Not even that. I searched a bit on Google and found many pages that said that the game "probably" originated in Japan, including Wikipedia in English.

However, I have met Japanese people who were surprised that "janken" also existed in Europe (for instance some of my wife's numerous friends at my own wedding, as activities included a game of janken with everybody). Well that wasn't a claim that it originated in Japan rather than China, but they certainly assumed that it wasn't common outside East Asia.
 

caster51

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I found out that the game has its origins in China. It was popular among warlords during the Han Dynasty, i.e. before the development of Japanese civilisation (which is why it could not possibly have originated in Japan).
ナスティツ青ィ窶氾溪?堙債、窶佚篠催?窶堋オ窶堙??慊ッナスナセ窶堙可出窶堋オ窶堋スナスティ窶堙個伸窶堙寂?堋オ窶堙??堋「窶堙ゥナスw窶堙個絶?昶?堙ー窶懌?凪?堙??堙ゥナ陳昶?之窶堙鯛?堙??堋?窶堙ィ窶愿コ窶怒窶堙俄?彖窶藩??堋オ窶堋ス窶怒ナ陳昶?堙??堙吮?堙壺?慊ッ窶堋カ窶堙?窶堙娯?堙??堋?窶堙ゥツ。窶堋カ窶堙。窶堙ア窶堋ッ窶堙ア窶堙??堙坂?凖カ窶ー窶懌?堋ュツ、窶吮??ツ坂?倪?堙俄?堙坂?堋カ窶堙。窶堙ア窶堋ッ窶堙ア窶堙娯?敖ュ窶督セ窶堙ーナスツヲ窶堋キ窶戞窶ーツス窶堙遺?堙ゥツ湘倪?ケ窶吮?堙?窶督ウ窶堋「ツ(ナスティツ青ィ窶氾溪?堋ェ窶堋カ窶堙。窶堙ア窶堋ッ窶堙ア窶堙俄?ーe窶ケツソ窶堙ー窶膿窶堋ヲ窶堙??堋「窶堙ゥ窶堋ア窶堙??堙最?テ藩?。窶堋「窶堙遺?堋「窶堋ェ窶「テ岩?堙?窶堙娯?堙??堋?窶堙ゥツ)ツ。

Janken and Chinese one were quite different.
chinese one was just a game of guessing numbers.
 

craftsman

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Winning strategies depend largely on what kind off games you're playing. If you're always playing with the same person, and neither of you are trying to cheat, it's mainly about pattern recognition. Nobody is a random number generator. Most people have one initial move they prefer over the other ones. The first step towards becoming a winner is figuring out what the other person's favorite opening is. Then it's simply a matter of countering that move with your initial move. Depending on how smart your opponent is, this will work a few times, but then they'll discover your pattern. The second step towards becoming a winner is to realize the exact moment your opponent has recognized your pattern, and then change it.
Aha! I see. So in other words I'm looking at it too simply. It's got to be more like a gun fight or a high stakes poker game. I've got to think more Clint Eastwood than Barnie the bear. OK. I've got it. I'm going to watch carefully the next few encounters and get that all important favourite opening.


You're not a poker player are you?
 

Qutiepie

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Janken and Chinese one were quite different.
chinese one was just a game of guessing numbers.

No matter what,it's origination was in China

Mah-Jong evolved to different set of game rules for people living in Japan,China,Hong Kong,Singapore,Taiwan,and Korea.
 

craftsman

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Janken and Chinese one were quite different.
chinese one was just a game of guessing numbers.
According to the same internet source I quoted in post #13, the Chinese game of 'ken':
was played between two people, each of whom would simultaneously extend 0 to 5 fingers of one hand, and at the same time predict the total number of fingers. Whoever correctly predicted the number of fingers shown was the winner.
It also continues to give a brief background to the Chinese game:
usage of ken somehow appeared in the Sung period... it is thought to have been conceived as a competitive game, or else a form of gambling... in which the loser would have to take a drink.
There is a theory that janken then developed separately along Sansukumi lines in Japan after it was introduced from China as ken in 1642.
Sansukumi is expounded in the book called the Kan'inshi, which describes how the snake fears the slug, the slug the frog, and the frog the snake. Each of the three parties holds the others in check, so that the three cannot move -- in short, the same relationship as between rock, paper, and scissors. When this idea propagated to the honken and other ken games, games like janken resulted.
However there are so many versions not only across Asia but in western countries that it remains to be seen as to how true this is. There are many theories about how it developed from the original Chinese game.

For example, in Korea janken is called 'Kai bai bo', where kai is scissors, bai is rock, and bo is cloth or paper, and the gestures and rules are exactly the same as in Japan. In Thailand, janken is exactly the same as in Japan but called 'Janjii'.
In India and Indonesia, and on Bali, janken is played with elephant, human and ant, where elephant beats human and human beats ant.
In China janken is the same as in Korea, except that sometimes guu is 'hammer' and paa is 'bomb'.
Moreover, the Cantonese people of China play not a sansukumi but a gosukumi game. The symbols are god, chicken, gun, fox, and termite. God is the thumb, chicken the index finger, gun the middle finger, fox the ring finger, and termite the little finger. The sukumi relationships are like this: with God and Chicken, chicken is sacrificed to god and thus loses. With God and Gun, the gun introduces people to god(?) and thus God wins. The termite eats the God's statue, and thus wins. The gun defeats the chicken. The fox defeats the chicken too. The chicken defeats the termite. The gun defeats the fox. Other than that, the god and the fox are good freinds, as are the gun and termite, and the fox and termite take no notice of each other, so these symbols tie with each other. According to these rules, the god and gun are strongest, and the chicken weakest.
The Malaysian 'Wan Shi Zan' janken is connected with this gosukumi. In this janken, pistol defeats everything except water, and bird loses to everything except water. Stone defeats bird and plank, and loses to pistol and water. Plank defeats bird and water, loses to stone and pistol. Water defeats stone and pistol. Bird loses to plank. Because not all throws have the same strength, these games feel very strange to those used to sansukumi games.
In addition, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos, within Asia, have various janken variants. Beyond Asia, the English-speaking world has 'scissors-paper-rock' or 'stone-scissors-paper', which is just the same as scissors, paper, stone janken.
But also Russia and Germany are quoted as having Rock, Scissors, Paper , well (Well beats rock and scissors, but not paper.)

And France as having Rock, Scissors, Leaf, Well (Well beats Rock and Scissors.)
 

Toru Ranryu

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Aha! I see. So in other words I'm looking at it too simply. It's got to be more like a gun fight or a high stakes poker game. I've got to think more Clint Eastwood than Barnie the bear. OK. I've got it. I'm going to watch carefully the next few encounters and get that all important favourite opening.
You're not a poker player are you?
Yeah, you've got exactly the right idea. I don't play poker personally but I have several friends who do and they're always telling me anecdotes about their games. As in poker the key is to read the opponents' mind without letting them read yours.
 

Maciamo

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No matter what,it's origination was in China
Mah-Jong evolved to different set of game rules for people living in Japan,China,Hong Kong,Singapore,Taiwan,and Korea.
That's right. It doesn't matter whether the rules changed a bit. Card games also have lots of variations by country and region.
 

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