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Fun with “Fukuwarai”

Hi everyone!

One of the most fun ways to learn a language is to play a game. Some of you might find it easy to learn language when you use your body and learn visually. If you are kinesthetic or visual learner, you should try “Fukuwarai”!
Fukuwarai is a Japanese traditional game which is usually played as a New Years game. “Fukuwarai” can help you to learn directions and parts of the face.

How do you play Fukuwarai? You have an outline of a blank face and paper cutouts in the shape of the eyes, a nose, and a mouth. The blindfolded player will place the cutouts of the eyes, mouth, etc., while other people give him or her directions by saying “うえ (up), した (down), みぎ (right), ひだり (left)”. When you give the parts of the face to the blindfolded player, you may tell the person what it is, for example, you can say “これは目です.” (This is an eye.)
You can find more details on the game at the website called “Kids Web Japan”. You may find other games as well!

How to Play “Fukuwarai”:
Here is a typical way to play fukuwarai with friends when you have the actual game set. You can also make one by hand out of paper.
• First, the players place a piece of paper with the outline of a face on it.
• Then one player is blindfolded with a handkerchief or some other type of cloth.
• The blindfolded player tries to place cutouts of the eyes, eyebrows, mouth, and nose on the face, while the other players shout instructions–for example, “Higher!” “To the left!” “There!”
• After the player places the pieces, the blindfold is removed so the player can view his or her handiwork.
• Most of the time, the face comes out looking ridiculous, and the players can’t keep from laughing.
• It’s also fun to see how the faces created by different players turn out.

You don’t have to wait for New Year’s to play!