Tag Archives: pachinko

パチンコ

21 Jun

I’ve written an earlier post (click here to read it), Japan has many types of 「パチンコ」 (pachinko) machines.

If you want to know about what 「パチンコ」 (pachinko) is, you can read my earlier posts that I wrote about it.
(click here and here).

「パチンコ」 (pachinko) is often called “Japanese pinball”…and like pinball machines, 「パチンコ」 (pachinko) machines are decorated with pictures of famous people or characters.

In Japan, there are Spiderman, JAWS, Marilyn Monroe, 「ウルトラマン」 (Ultraman), and 「七人の侍」 ( The Seven Samurai) 「パチンコ」 (pachinko) machines.

That’s just an example. There are many others.
There’s even a 「パチンコ」 (pachinko) machine for the Japanese pop singer 「倖田來未」 (Koda Kumi):


(Click here to see the Koda Kumi Pachinko website).

As I mentioned in the earlier post I mentioned above (click here to read it), there are also KISS and Star Wars 「パチンコ」 (pachinko) machines:

kiss-pachinko(Click here to see the KISS Pachinko website.)

star_wars-pachinko(Click here to see the Star Wars Pachinko website.)

Now there’s a new 「パチンコ」 (pachinko) machine. And it’s also decorated with images from American pop-culture.
It’s the Bon-Jovi 「パチンコ」 (pachinko) machine. It plays some songs by the band and has cartoon images in their likeness.

bonjovi-pachinko(Click here to visit the Bon Jovi Pachinko website).

KISS パチンコ

28 Dec

As I’ve mentioned a few times on this blog (for example: here and here), I’m a big fan of the American rock band KISS.

(By the way, I wrote a post about the Japanese KISS-related movie called Detroit Metal City (click here) last August and it’s still the most popular post on my blog!)

Well, I just found out that a new KISS パチンコ (pachinko) machine has debuted here in Japan.

kiss

パチンコ (pachinko) is a Japanese game that can be compared to a vertical pinball machine…with many small balls played simultaneously rather than just one larger ball. And unlike pinball, the object is to get the balls into certain holes at the right time. And, unlike pinball, パチンコ (pachinko) can also be compared to a slot machine in that there’s a payout…albeit the jackpot is more BB balls rather than money (due to anti-gambling laws), but the balls are exchanged for prizes (and then “sold” for money). It’s a loophole in the law, and the only reason for the popularity of パチンコ(pachinko).

I’ve already written a post about パチンコ (pachinko)…(click here to see it).

I’ve played パチンコ (pachinko) a few times…I’m not a big fan of the game—especially since I usually lose and the parlors are noisy and smokey from all the smokers (but recently, many パチンコ (pachinko) parlors have begun enforcing “No Smoking” rules to lure more customers)—but if I happen to see a parlor advertising that they have the new KISS パチンコ (pachinko) machine, I may go inside and try it out! Just because it’s KISS.

Wanna see the website for the KISS パチンコ (pachinko) machine? It’s in 日本語 (Japanese)…but it has a cool Flash® intro.

Click here to visit the KISS パチンコ (pachinko) website.

パチンコ (pachinko) machines, like pinball machines, usually have a theme…and it’s often something from pop-culture. Usually it’s Japanese pop-culture…but sometimes, like the KISS パチンコ (pachinko) machine, it’s from Western culture.

Another example (that may interest a friend of mine whose a big Star Wars fan), is the fairly new Darth Vader パチンコ (pachinko) machine.

darth1

I guess the machine’s full name is 「Fever STAR WARS ダース・ベイダー降臨」 (“Fever STAR WARS: Darth Vader’s Arrival“).

It has a 日本語 (Japanese) website with a Flash® intro, too. Click here to see it.

Memorial Service

1 Dec

Yesterday we went up to 茨城県 (Ibaraki Prefecture), about 150 Km (about 95 miles) north of Tokyo.

It’s very different from urban Tokyo…it’s all mountains and countryside. A very beautiful and traditional Japanese area.

But we weren’t there for sight-seeing. My wife has some relatives who live there and last year, one of her aunts from that area died. So we went up there last year for the funeral.
And yesterday, as per Japanese tradition, was the 一周忌法要 (one-year memorial service).

The service started at 11:00AM, so we left home at 9:00 and took the express train up to 茨城県 (Ibaraki Prefecture) and got there at about 10:40AM.
We walked to the (temple) where the memorial service was to be held.

dscf3987

It would take alot to clearly explain Japanese funeral and memorial services because they are quite different than the Western versions.
After the service, we went to the (grave) to leave 御線香 (incense).
Then, we (my wife, kids and I…as well as all of my wife’s relatives who were at the memorial service) went to a very traditional restaurant for lunch.

dscf3989

Lunch was outstanding…and huge! We had 刺身 (Sashimi), 天ぷら (Tenpura), crab, ウナギ (Freshwater eel), salad, soup, beer and 熱燗酒 (hot Saké )!

Here are a few pictures that I took of the small-town area:

dscf3986

dscf4003

dscf4006

dscf4008

dscf4013

dscf4014

dscf4016

dscf4017

dscf4019

dscf4020

dscf4021

dscf4022

++++

BTW, today is the seventh birthday of 敬宮愛子内親王殿下 (Princess Aiko) of the 皇室 (Japanese Imperial Family).

aiko-sama

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: