Japanese Games: Shiritori or E-shiritori

 An e-shiritori game between me and Doro

Here's a fun game, and one of the few that I knew about before coming to Japan: shiritori, and its pictorial equivalent, e-shiritori (尻取り、絵尻取り). The name means something like "take the end," so you might be able to guess the point of the game.

Shiritori you play by first saying a word. You can say any word you want, but words which end with the consonant "n" ん are out-of-bounds. The reason is, the next person has to take the last syllable of the word you've said, and think of a word which starts with that syllable. Then you must take the last syllable of that word, and on and on it goes, until someone inadvertently says a word ending in ん or can't think of a word. Also, you aren't allowed to repeat! An example of some basic play:


If you get a word which ends in a syllable with a ″ or ゜, such as でde or ぱpa, you can use the syllable with or without the ″/ ゜. For example, you can use てte instead of でde , or はha or ばba instead of ぱpa. Now that you know how to play, you can understand this video. They're playing Double Shiritori, where you have to provide two linked words per turn instead of one. As you can see, players get out if they say an "un-word" or repeat a word.

E-shiritori is a little different.

In this version, you think of a word, and without revealing the word to anyone you draw a representation of it (like in Pictionary, without words). The next person has to look at the picture, understand what word you meant to convey, and then think of a word beginning with your word's last syllable. They then draw a representation of it on the board. E-shiritori is harder than regular shiritori, because the more a drawing is misunderstood, the harder it gets to continue the game. As in regular shiritori, the game ends if you draw something ending with ん. When you are done, you can go back and reveal what word you  intended with your drawings. It's fun to see how off-track you've gotten by the end of it all! Here's a video of some comedians on the NHK "Surari to Ikou" doing e-shiritori. Good listening practice!

 Can you guess what the sequence is here?

No comments:

Post a Comment