Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Junken Pon!

As a 2nd grader living in Japan...

...I learned to play this little game:

Junken Pon! 
(pronounced like "Jun Ken Poh")
literal translation that I found at various sites: "It is the fist".

If there is a draw, both players continue with:
Aiko desho! 
(pronounced like "I-ko deh-shoh")
literal translation found at various sites: "It is equal".

It's neat to know that this is played in so many parts of the world. Check out this site to learn more about the Japanese version.

It is what is equivalent to:
Rock, Paper, Scissors!

Rock-paper-scissors is a hand game played by two or more people. The game is known by many names, including other orderings of the three items in the name (with "stone" often substituted by speakers of British English), piedra papel o tijera, farglingcachi-púnburung-batu-air ("bird-stone-water"), jan-ken-pon (and variants including jan-ken-poi ...baau-jin-dup (Cantonese: "wrap-cut-crash"), kauwi-bauwi-bo (Korean: "scissors-rock-cloth"), камень-ножницы-бумага and rochambeau. (source: Wikipedia)


A couple of posts ago, I had a few photos and memories of when I lived in Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts.  (1967 to 1969).  

After that assignment, my dad flew to Wakkanai AFB, Japan.  

My mom and I flew later, so for a few months, we lived in West Allis, Wisconsin, where my grandpa and grandma on my dad's family lived.

My two younger cousins and I playing in the backyard of my grandparents' home.

Initially, we rented a local rental home of a very friendly Japanese family, until our military housing was ready.  Here is a photo of me in front of the rental.

(Groovy striped jeans!)

Here are some other photos that I have from that time frame:

(Sight-seeing with my parents' mom took this photo. I love my dad's cool shades, coral and white polo and grey jacket ;o)  ...the sun must have been real bright, cuz the little girl and I both have our eyes shut!)

Here are two photos of my mom and I in our Japanese rental house.

(My dad had some state of the art reel to reel tape players for music).

 Here is a photo taken on the side of our military townhouse. I was dressed up for a parade that my Brownie Troop would dance in.

Here is a previous post "KIMONO KIDS" of some other memories of when I was little in Japan. And also some photos of our girls wearing my same Kimono, 20 years later!


While I learned to play "Jun ken po..." in Japan, my hubby was growing up in Hawaii and this was how he learned it: 
"Junk and a munken...a socka socka po!"

I was able to google search more about this game on a number of different sites and on one blog written by someone from Hilo, Hawaii (where my husband grew up), this blogger also mentioned the version of the phrases used, that my hubby and his siblings and friends said.

And Wow! Who would've known?? 
 (source:  Wikipedia)
1. "In 2006, Federal Judge Gregory Presnell from the Middle District of Florida ordered opposing sides in a lengthy court case to settle a trivial (but lengthily debated) point over the appropriate place for a deposition using the game of rock-paper-scissors."

2. The auction houses of  Christie's and Sotheby's " ...were unable to reach a decision. Hashiyama told the two firms to play rock-paper-scissors to decide who would get the rights to the auction, explaining that "it probably looks strange to others, but I believe this is the best way to decide between two things which are equally good". ...Christie's won the match and sold the twenty million dollar collection, with millions of dollars of commission for the auction house."

3. "The common side-blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana) exhibits a rock-paper-scissors pattern in its mating strategies. Of its three color types of males, "orange beats blue, blue beats yellow, and yellow beats orange" in competition for females, which is similar to the rules of rock-paper-scissors."

4. "Starting in 2002, the World Rock Paper Scissors Society standardized a set of rules for international play and has overseen annual International World Championships. These open, competitive championships have been widely attended by players from around the world and have attracted widespread international media attention."

5. "On July 9, 2010, over 6500 attendees of the LIFE 2010 Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, participated in the largest tournament of Rock-Paper-Scissors ever, shattering the previous record of 1150 participants."


Joining in 
...with Trisha's Follow Me Wednesday.
...with Jenny's  Alphabe-Thursday's "J" 
...and with Alicia for Friday Photo Flashback
...and with Mel for Fancy Friday.
...and with Stacy for Road Trip Fun.
...and with April for  Military Monday blog hop.

& Here are more art orders completed and sent (I like to wait until I know that the art has already been received or given as a gift, before I post them). All art is drawn with a person's name.

This is an order for a farewell gift.

This is an order for a wedding gift.

..keeping busy with more art orders! Thank you to everyone for your interest and to all those that have requested some amazing subjects to draw!


Have you played a variation of this game before? If you have, I'd love to hear how you played it, pronounced it, and if there is a different meaning to the words you used.

Thank you for stopping by! I'll be by to return your lovely visit and comments. 

Signature for blog


edenhills said...

What a great post! I never knew Rock Paper Scissors or junken-pon was international in scope! I love all the pictures when you were a cute~such a cute little girl!


jfb57 said...

Goodness! There is so much in this post! Thank you so much & well done!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

We played rock, paper, scissors as kids..

I had no idea that it had an international following!

myorii said...

I love this post! It's so amazing how rock-paper-scissor is so universal that kids from all over the world know how to play it in their own language :)

I love that first photo of you with your curly pigtails. So cute!

LDH said...

Such a little cutie pie! I just love stopping by to visit with you. Each and every post is so endearing and filled with love and good times.

Now when I play this game with my grandchildren I can say it in Japanese :) I appreciate the help with pronunciation.

Thank you for another great post!
Kindly, Lorraine

Jenny said...

I've never mastered 'rock, paper, scissors'! Sad but true.

This was such an interesting post to me. I always enjoy reading about how small the world really is!


As always...your pictures are just adorable! You are one of the most beautiful people I know!

Thanks for linking.


EG Wow said...

Super post! It's always interesting for me to learn about cultural similarities as well as differences.

Judie said...

What an interesting post!! And you know how much I love seeing your family pictures!!!

mrs. c said...

My favorite part of your post were the family photos. I love to look at the faces of all the people. We have some very old photos of my husband's family and they all look mad! Thanks for sharing your wonderful insight and family with us.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I think it has been ages since I played rock, paper scissors. I wonder if I could beat JDaniel or he would beat me.

interestingplaces said...

Hi,thanks for following my blog. I'm following you back.

Amanda said...

I love that kimono. I'd wear it, even though I wouldn't look as cute in it!

☆☆Mumsy said...

I played rock paper scissor when I was younger too. You've done a marvelous post on this flashback. It's wonderful to see you as a little girl.

Jennifer Dawn said...

Very interesting post! I love your blog. You are a very talented artist! I'll be following!

Kathie @ Like A Box Of Chocolates said...

I love looking at your pictures as always Maria (and your drawings too!)

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

Fabulous post with such interesting highlights! (And what an adorable little girl - you!) Thanks for sharing this!
Happy J Day!

sskcraftshop @ Hooks, Needles and Brushes said...

lovely post..I follow you, stopping from alexa hop...need help with followers, we run a community to teach women and kids who are nto financially sound and need sponsor for the same so need followers..pls follow us at

Rachel @ My Happily Ever After said...

Such beautiful pictures and such a great story! Following along!

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

I love seeing old photos...not that yours are that old, but I just enjoy a trip down Memory Lane. We used to play that game when we were playing to decide who'd go first on the swing, slide,etc. I wonder if young kids today play it anymore? They're so busy nowadays with electronic gadgets, video games, etc.

Lindsey said...

I am so glad you stopped by my blog and introduced yourself! Not only is Clarksville not far from me... I'm in NorthEast TN, but my husband is Filipino!

He's from Pampanga and we visited the Philippines about a year and a half ago and visited Baguio while we were there! {I saw it in your About Me!}

So nice to meet you and I look forward to reading more from you! :)
Lindsey from

Lola said...

Hi again!

Love your ‘J’ post! And thanks for stopping by!

Have a great weekend & look forward to *seeing* you again next time,


Tes said...

Oh wow, I learned so much on my first visit! Very informative on the rock-paper-scissor game. Such lovely sketches. You're so talented! :)

xinex said...

You are so pretty, Maria, as a child and as a grown up too. So nice that you have all those pictures of you as a little girl in your possession....Christine

Jodi Lebrun said...

What a great post! Following you now from Flashback Friday..funny to find you today-my post is about my hubby's karate career-Wado-Kai originates in Japan. Neat connection.

Xmas Dolly said...

Hello Girlfriend, How's goin'? I'm fine just keeping busy. Love your Post & you were such a cutie pie when you were little. Thanks for sharing. Rock, paper, scissors is an international game. Well, how about that. Learn something new every day! Have a great weekend.

Pondside said...

Isn't it interesting that some children's games cross so many international barriers. Kids will be kids!
I love the sweet photos you include in your posts - the Kimono shot is adorable!

Alicia said...

Awww!! You were sooooo cute, Maria!!! Loved all those photos!!! And yes, your dad looks very cool in his shades! I love the style back then, too! I have some photos of my parents dressed really classy!!

Kristin said...

My Italian grandfather taught me that game. It looks like it goes across many cultures!

essle said...

How loveable photos..There are lot memories in that photos.
Thanks and thumbs up!
Business Logo Design

Jane said...

I love this post! It's so cool that different cultures all play the same game. And, I love all your family photos!

Olivia said...

New follower here via Military Mondays blog hop... What beautiful work you have here! Simply gorgeous... Aloha from Hawaii!!! :) - Olivia Blue Music

Related Posts with Thumbnails