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JapanFocus
Japan's Newest Hit Game
Gambling and pet shopping come together in Kingyo Sukui
David Michael Weber (crossfire)     Print Article 
Published 2009-06-10 13:32 (KST)   
If you come to Japan, you might come across this bizarre festival game that mixes gambling and pet shopping with a little bit of fishing too.

Kingyo Sukui is the Japanese game of goldfish scooping where you can win a pet goldfish should you so desire.



The game goes back to the late Edo Period around the early 19th Century. You can always find Kingyo Sukui stalls at Japanese festivals and other events like hanami (cherry blossom viewing).

You have a bowl and small net scope which has very thin paper. The object is to scoop the goldfish into the bowl without breaking the paper. You can continue scooping up goldfish as long as the paper doesn't break -- even if there is only a thin corner left.

The game stall owner told me that Japanese people like Kingyo Sukui because it's a form of gambling that requires luck, skill, and patience. Originally it was for children but the popularity of Kingyo Sukui caught on and now there is even a national championship of goldfish scooping for all ages.

The Nintendo Wii has a video game based Japanese Festival games and events in which one of the mini-games is a virtual Kingyo Sukui.
©2009 OhmyNews
A native Tennesseean, David M. Weber is currently at the grammatical grindstone cranking out gerunds, dangling modifiers and perfecting tenses as an English teacher in Japan. In his travels, he has hiked the Inca Trail, been mugged in Mexico City, broke his leg in Switzerland, attempted to bike through Mexico and failed, climbed Pyramids in Egypt and Mexico, drank great quantities of beer at Oktoberfest and gambled at Monte Carlo.
Other articles by reporter David Michael Weber

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