Words Related to Games Kids Play in Japanese

Description of the games you may be unfamiliar with



→One or more 鬼 (“demons”) are selected, and the others run away. If they touch a player, the touched person becomes the next 鬼.




→One or more 鬼 (“demons”) are selected, and while they shut their eyes, the others hide. Then they search for the others, and when all players are found, the first one becomes the next 鬼.



“cops and robbers”

→The nationally popular name is ケイドロ, but in the Tokyo metropolitan area and Okinawa, it is often called ドロケイ(どろけい).

Children are divided into two teams: a cop team and a robber team. The cop team catches the escaping robber team. The captured robber is taken to a place set up as a jail. The arrested robbers can escape jail by being touched by other robbers still on the run. The game ends when all robbers are caught.



”duck duck goose with a handkerchief”

→One 鬼 is selected, and the others sit facing inside in a circle; 鬼 runs around the circle and drops a handkerchief behind someone without being noticed. The person must chase after 鬼 and touch him/her before 鬼 returns after one lap. If 鬼 runs one lap without being noticed (or too late), the person becomes the next 鬼.



”red light, green light”

→One 鬼 is selected; 鬼 turns his/her back to the others and chants “だるまさんがころんだ” before turning around. The others approach 鬼 but must not move while 鬼 looks at them. Anyone who moves will be caught by 鬼.

It is almost the same as the Giant Girl Robot game from Squid Game.



”musical chairs”

→Prepare fewer chairs than the number of participants and arrange them in a circle. Participants walk around the chairs while the music plays. When the music stops, they sit on the chairs. Those who fail to sit on a chair are eliminated, and the game continues with fewer and fewer chairs until the last winner is crowned.



”Japanese word chain game” →One person says a word first, and the next person says a word starting with the last hiragana character of the previous word. This is a game to connect phrases in a chain in this way.(りん”ご”→”ご”り”ら”→”ら”っぱ…)