Today’s phrase: Acchi muite hoi!
One of our favorite games to play growing up is a variant of jankenpon, or “rock, paper, scissors.” We had first learned it in Japan when we visited my cousins from my mother’s side of the family. It was a summer day, and we were on the beach. The scene is firmly etched in my memory:
Two cousins would shout Jankenpon! and throw rock, paper, or scissors. The winner would then point in the loser’s face and shout Acchi muite hoi! (“Look over there!”) and point up, down, left, or right of her face. The one not pointing had to face in any of those directions except for where the other pointed. If she was successful, another round of jankenpon was played, and the winner of that round became the pointer, and so on. Should the cousin face in the direction the other had pointed, the game ended, with much laughter and good humor.
My whole family learned it that day and had a lot of fun with it. Sometimes someone would turn their head not quite in any one direction, and sometimes someone else would point in a diagonal direction, resulting in howls of laughter by the players and anyone watching.
That day is also when we learned how to play suikawari— it is one of the best childhood memories I have.
And this day marks the 3rd anniversary of The Ballad of Yoko. Thanks, loyal readers.