Jyanken is the standard way to resolve any simple conflict!

What kind of game do you use in your country to resolve any kind of disputes?
We use the hand game Jyanken, a game of chance used to settle any difference(s) between two or more people.
Jyanken is an easy game to choose a winner(s), requiring nothing but three simple hand gestures. If we can’t we decide on something of minor importance, someone will say, “Let’s decide by Jyanken.”


The ‘Jyan-Ken-Pon’ chant!

Janken is played by 2 or more people, with each person using one hand to make 1 of the 3 possible signs. The three hand signs are called Gu (making a fist), Choki (making the peace sign), and Pa (opening the hand).
People chant aloud, “jan…ken…pon,” and on “pon” they throw out their hand, showing one of the three hand gestures. If everyone shows the same gesture, they keep playing until someone wins.



‘Choki’ means scissors, ‘Pa’ means paper, and ‘ Gu’ means rock. How do they rank among each other?

Choki beats Pa, Gu beats Choki, Pa beats Gu, and showing the same sign results in a draw. It’s easy to understand why; Choki cuts Pa, Gu crushes Choki, and Pa covers Gu.





When used in a group of more than 2 people, Gu and Pa are used to choose the winner by majority.

If everyone in a group shows ‘Gu’ and ‘Pa’ at same time, the sign used by the majority wins. In this case, the timing when everyone throws out their hands is very important.


Tadaima Japan is looking to improve. Please rate this article!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

You might also like




Writer/ Translator

I love Japanese folkcraft article, traditional handicrafts and antiques. I’m seeking the Japanese people’s religious outlooks and its origins that are behind Japanese people’s unique sense and techniques rooted in the ordinary life.