Tag Archives: musician

チンドン屋

1 Apr

In Japan, sometimes (if you’re lucky) you will see “Chindonya”.

Chindonya is like a Japanese traveling band for hire.

They used to be a common sight…but have become quite rare nowadays.

They dress in an over-the-top version Japanese traditional attire (although occasionally one member may wear something like a clown suit), and the women wear their hair and make-up like a geisha and the men often have their hair in a ちょんまげ (a top-knot that like those of samurai and sumo wrestlers).

The are paid by a store or restaurant to advertise a grand-opening or a sale.

The leader wears a sign board advertising the shop and might hand out flyers as well. Meanwhile, the whole band plays a distinct type of “music” that everyone knows is the sound of Chindonya.

Their name comes from the sound of the music the make. I guess “Chindonya” could best be translated as “Bing-bang group”.

Anyways, I took a short video of a two-member Chindonya group that were advertising the grand-opening of a “Pachinko” parlor.

“Pachinko” is a popular game in Japan that is often called a cross between a slot-machine and a pinball machine.

It’s not technically gambling, since gambling casinos aren’t legal in Japan (there is legal gambling in Japan though…horse racing, bike racing and the lottery). Pachinko, though, is still basically gambling.

To win at Pachinko, you have to aim the BB type balls that you purchase into the holes that are in the upright pinball-looking machine. If you succeed, you are rewarded with a jackpot of the same balls. You can take the balls to the back of the parlor and exchange them for prizes (not money, otherwise that would be “gambling” and therefore illegal).

The loophole, and why pachinko is popular with many people, is that outside every Pachinko parlor is a “seperate” shop that buys the Pachinko prizes from the customers for cash (and they end up back in the Pachinko parlor).

Anyways…here’s my video of Chindonya: