Weekly Shiritori #1

Shiritori? What’s that then?

Shiritori (しりとり) is a fun Japanese word game which I learnt while waiting for a train one day in Japan. You can play the game with two or more players, and it’s a great way to practice your Japanese vocabulary. The game is played like this:

The first player says a Japanese word – any noun is allowed (and as far as I know proper nouns are ok too). The next player then has to say a word beginning with the last kana of the previous word. Shiritori literally means “taking the buttocks” or “taking the end”, so the aim of the game is to take the end of the previous word to begin the next word – and keep going! Words may not be repeated, and it should be a fast-paced game.  If a player uses a word ending in ん the game is over and they lose – no words begin with ん.

The real test of your language skills comes with words like “sumo”. If you’re thinking in romaji you would think “sumo” ends with “mo”. However, when you look at “sumo” in kana – すもう – you can see that it actually ends with う.

Ok, so that’s “shiritori”, but what’s “Weekly Shiritori“?

Following the success of my previous weekly series, A-Z of Japan, I have decided to start a new weekly series for 2012 – Weekly Shiritori! Each week, I will write  a post about a topic beginning with the kana from the end of the previous topic. So, this week I am writing about “shiritori” (しりとり), therefore next week I need to think of a topic beginning with “ri” (り).

It will be quite a challenge to keep this up all year, but let’s see if I can! Each week, if you have any suggestions for the following week’s topic, please leave a comment. If you have a blog related to Japan, and I choose your suggestion, I’ll give your blog a mention on Haikugirl’s Japan, too.

(Image source)

4 thoughts on “Weekly Shiritori #1

  1. I really love this concept! This game must be something that lots of people play when they have time to kill. It’s also something you can play on your own just to see how long you can keep it going.

    I want next week’s topic to be Rikon because divorce in Japan is sooo much different than it is in the US. I think it would make an interesting article. But I lost the game! 😛 Maybe next week I’ll get a good idea!


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