Posted by: yoko | August 3, 2005

Words From Childhood 3.8

Today’s word: suikawari

An appropriate word for the summer. Suika means “watermelon,” and wari comes from the word waru, meaning “to split, divide.” Suikawari is a game that is similar to one played with a pinata, in which a person is blindfolded and tries to split the watermelon with a stick. The watermelon is placed on the ground, and often there are teams in which the one the person belongs to will call out directions to help him/her locate the watermelon, and the opposing teams yell out false clues to lead the person astray.

I first played this game on the beach near my grandmother’s house in Japan. I don’t remember who won, but I do remember there was lots of juicy watermelon to be eaten, with a sprinkling of salt on the slices.



  1. salt?! what a fascinating idea. I must try that.

  2. Do they still play Suikawari with bokken at Kokikai Summer Camps?

  3. Is that where that goofed up comedian Gallegher stole his act?

  4. Ashy: I wouldn’t put it past Gallagher to steal material for his act.
    Nicky: They used to play suikawari with bokken? Darn! I’ve never done that at summer camp!
    Shasta: My mom claimed that sprinkling salt on watermelon brought out the sweetness. She used to do the same with apples, although I don’t think it tastes as good with them.

  5. A light sprinking of salt and pepper on fruits makes them oh-so-scrumptious! I LOVE sprinking black pepper on peaches and pears. Cherries, too. But salt on watermelon (pepper’s not great with watermelon, though) is one of my favorites.


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