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Ohajiki: The Traditional Japanese Game of Skill and Strategy

11 de April de 2024

In this article I introduce you to Ohajiki (お は じ き) a traditional Japanese game of skill and strategy, I show you its origins, as well as its materials, preparation, rules and how to play.

Introduction to Ohajiki (お は じ き), the Traditional Japanese Game of Skill and Strategy.

Ohajiki (お は じ き) is a traditional Japanese game that has captivated people of all ages for centuries.

The origin of Ohajiki dates back to ancient times, and although its popularity declined with the advent of electronic games, it has experienced a resurgence in modern times due to its appealing blend of skill, strategy and fun.


Origins and History of Ohajiki

El nombre “Ohajiki” proviene de las pequeñas piezas de juego utilizadas, que se asemejan a pequeñas fichas redondas hechas de arcilla, piedra, vidrio o plástico. Estas piezas suelen tener alrededor de 1 cm de diámetro y pueden estar decoradas con diferentes patrones y colores.

Inicialmente, los Ohajiki se utilizaban como contadores para juegos de azar, pero con el tiempo, evolucionaron en un emocionante juego de habilidad y estrategia que involucraba lanzar y golpear las piezas en busca de puntuaciones altas.

Ohajiki has its roots in Japan and is believed to have originated over a thousand years ago.

The name “Ohajiki” comes from the small playing pieces used, which resemble small round tiles made of clay, stone, glass or plastic. These pieces are usually about 1 cm in diameter and can be decorated with different patterns and colors.

Initially, Ohajiki were used as counters for games of chance, but over time, they evolved into an exciting game of skill and strategy that involved throwing and hitting the pieces in search of high scores.


Materials and preparation for playing Ohajiki

To play Ohajiki, you need a set of Ohajiki pieces and a flat, smooth surface to play on.

While traditional pieces were made of natural materials such as clay or stone, nowadays, it is more common to find Ohajiki made of glass or plastic (this makes them more affordable and accessible to everyone).

Buy here your cheap Ohajiki set

  • In addition, a varied playing surface can be used, such as a table, tray or even the floor. Make sure the surface is smooth enough to allow the pieces to slide without hindrance.

Ohajiki Game Rules

Ohajiki is played in several ways, but one of the most popular variants is the one I will describe below for you to know:

  1. Placement of the Ohajiki Pieces:
    • Place the Ohajiki pieces in a row on the playing surface, leaving space between each piece. You can determine the distance according to your skill level and desired difficulty. A common alignment is a row of five pieces with approximately 5 cm between each piece.
  2. Game Turn:
    • The game is played in turns, and players can throw one Ohajiki piece at a time.
    • The player’s choice for the first turn may be determined randomly or by a previously agreed method.
  3. Launching of the pieces:
    • To throw an Ohajiki piece, use your index finger or thumb to push the tile from the bottom in a quick and precise motion towards the other pieces. The goal is to hit the pieces in a line.
  4. Scoring:
    • The score depends on which pieces are knocked down during the turn.
    • If a player succeeds in knocking down one or more pieces, these are added to his score. The knocked down pieces are removed from the game during the current turn.
  5. Continuation of the Game:
    • After each turn, the remaining pieces are realigned for the next player.
    • The game continues until all the pieces have been knocked down and each player has had a chance to throw all his pieces.
Other forms of play

Ohajiki Strategies and Techniques

Ohajiki is not only based on luck, but also requires skill and strategy.

Some common techniques used by some players are:

  1. Force Adjustment: Controlling the force of the throw is essential to accurately aim and knock down the desired pieces.
  2. Effect: Some players apply spin to the pieces to achieve more precise trajectories and maximize scoring opportunities.
  3. Focus on Strategic Pieces: Identify and target specific pieces that can significantly increase the total score.
  4. Defensive Blocking: Leaving the pieces in positions that hinder the opponents’ throws, hindering their ability to obtain a high score.

Benefits of Ohajiki

In addition to being a source of fun and entertainment, Ohajiki offers several benefits:

  1. Motor Skills Development: The game requires precision and coordination, which helps improve fine motor skills.
  2. Concentration and Focus: To be successful in Ohajiki, it is necessary to be completely concentrated and focused on the game, which improves attention.
  3. Competitive Spirit: The game fosters a healthy competitive spirit and the ability to handle both victory and defeat.
  4. Cultural Connection: Through Ohajiki, players can connect with Japan’s rich cultural heritage and appreciate the country’s history and traditions.

Conclusion on the Ohajiki

Ohajiki is a fascinating traditional Japanese game that combines skill, strategy and fun. Its rich history and ability to appeal to players of all ages make it an exciting pastime.

Through practice and dedication, players can hone their skills and enjoy exciting times with friends and family.

So go ahead, grab your Ohajiki pieces and start playing this wonderful traditional Japanese game!