Saturday, 13 April 2013

The Amazing Power of Rock, Scissors, Paper


The only video game we had for most of my childhood was Alex Kid. In the game you battled end-bosses with rock, scissors paper (I was really good at that bit) and the ultimate end boss was called Lord Junken. I didn’t know that junken was Japanese for rock, scissors, paper at the time. Did you know that there is a world rock,scissors, paper championship? Or that rock, scissors, paper was one used in a US court case?
You may think you know junken, but the variations are endless. Some popular versions around my schools are:


and my personal favourite, 

also seen here in Gintama with a rubber mallet, which I think is much less fun:

Janken has an amazing power in Japan. It can be used to settle any dispute, make any choice or divine the truth in a difficult situation. I’ve seen kids trying to chose between two things jaken with themselves to make the decision (easier than you might think, try it). The greatest example however came during a class on superlatives. For some reasonall the best things happen when I teach comparatives and superlatives. It’s better than any other topic. Get it?!  Sorry… anyway. Moving along.
I asked the kids “who is the tallest in your class?” and half said one name and half said the other. So the kids called on the two boys to junken to settle the question. “Ummm,” interjected the JTE, “why don’t you two just stand back to back?” “No way!” The rest of the class complained, “janken is better…” So the boys juankened, and true to the awesome power of junken, the boy who was actually taller won. “See,” the kids said, “junken is always right.”
Of course, you won't need janken to tell you that joining up with other J-Bloggers for a carnival is a great idea!
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  1. It's rock, paper, scissors not rock, scissors, paper. The "Hi Friends" book that 5th and 6th grade use RSP. It's frustrating and confusing for the kids because they see it in print, but I have to explain to them that in America we say it differently. By the end of the school year, I have the kids saying RPS. When they say "stone" instead of "rock", well, that's another story.

    1. Your comment didn't disappear!!!

      I do RSP because the gestures flow into each other smoothly. It's harder to get from rock to paper then back into scissors at speed. To be honest though, I don't think there is one set "Australian" way of doing it. Some people just do "1, 2 3!"

    2. Just call it Roshambo. That'll really confuse 'em.

  2. Hahaha, don't I know it! Janken has amazing powers here, I really do think that! I had never seen the game used so authoritatively back home~

    I'm still thinking on the blog carnival~ Hopefully I'll hav something cooked up today!


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