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Useful Japanese word (4): じゃんけん “jan-ken”

じゃんけん  “jan-ken”

When Japanese say, “Janken shiyo,” it means “Let’s play janken.”  We often use janken to decide something informally. Janken is the game of “rock-paper-scissors”. The rock is called gu, the paper pa and the scissors choki. It is a common way to decide who the winner will be or who will take precedence. Everybody shows his or her hand in one of the three shapes at the calling out of “janken pon.” Rock beats scissors, scissors beats paper and paper beats rock. If all the players’ hands are the same, it is called, “aiko.” The game continues with the calling of “aiko de sho” until the winner is decided. It is sometimes used in a business setting, but it is a common game among people of all ages.

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