Happy Hotsui Matsuri everyone! I hope you all read Star’s opening post the other day about this next campaign which — whoops. Is kicking off this month! I personally enjoy Hotsui Matsuri because it leads up to Obon Odori–which you can read all about in Star’s post from last year! Our local Obon Odori fest is this Saturday and I’m excited, but I’m more excited to share some more Hotsui Matusri posts leading up to it! Today, I wanted to share with you all some games you’d typically find at a festival.
Yo Yo Tsuri
So this is a game you’ll see often and it looks like it’s an easy game. There is a little pool or container that is filled with a bunch of small balloons that are on rubber strings (I think they are rubber). The balloons are also filled with a little water so there is weight to them and they are in fun colors and patterns that are eyecatching. Anyway, the game is played by taking a very lightweight string made of paper with a hook at the end and trying to catch one of the balloons. Sounds easy right? Nope. Since the string is made of paper, the balloons are a little heavy, and they are floating in water–it’s harder to actually pick them up. So it really is a game of skill–and kids love it. Which honestly, I would too.
This game isn’t strictly japanese, and I feel like a lot of festivals and amusemement parks all over the world have their variations of this. It honestly is a pretty simple game. There are prizes on a shelf–toys, candy, games, etc. You take a toy rifle and you try to shoot odwn the prize you want. The bullets are normally corks–so not super strong. It’s definitely a game of aim–aka skill–but also if you’re playing dirty, sometimes prizes are taped down to make them harder to shoot. But y’know, some shop keepers are more honorable and rely on the fact their guests might not have great aim.
Super Ball Sukui
So this game is also simply looking but harder to do. So, here we have like super balls–like bouncy balls that are floating in a shallow pool. Sounds similar to the balloons? Yup. Except instead of trying to hook the balls you use a scoop with a thin paper as the net. You need to essentially just lift them out the water. But the thin paper hits the water and then makes it hard to pick up the heavy ball. Once again, you need skill and precision.
I didn’t realize Senbon Biki was an actual game but once I realized it was I was like — duh. I’ve seen that. This game consists of a lot of strings–or threads. These threads are all tangled together, and each thread has some sort of prize tied to the end of it. Usually small knick knacks–candy, charms, little toys. The game is as simple as picking a thread and following where it leads to your prize. I think it’s a popular game because there’s no skill involved in this game and easy for kids to play and win.
Kingyo (goldish) Sukui
Much like Super Ball Sukui, this game is all about catching something. The difference is that the prize in this game are living breathing, and wriggly goldfish. You use the scoop (it’s called a poi–I forgot to mention that before) and try to catch the goldfish in the thin paper scoop. This game is significantly harder because even the goldfish are smaller and less heavy than the bouncy balls–they move and therefore are likely to make the paper break. You need skill, speed, and gentleness. I remember Star telling me that there’s even specific goldfish used for this game–the prettiest to make them more appealing to those who want to play.
So there you have it! Those are five fun festival games. Admittedly I have only tried a few of them–but I really want to try the goldish game at least once! It’s the most popular of them all and in every anime that has a festival. Have any of you tried these games? Anyone know of any other fun festival games? Let us know! We’ll add it to the post as a little archive of all the great games. Other than that, I hope you are ready for tomorrow on day three! Star will have some great Hotsui Matsuri content I’m sure.