Shiritori Game


Recently, as I was talking to one of my Japanese friends and waiting for a flight, we needed to figure out how to pass the time. She decided that we should play “Shiritori”, a popular Japanese game.

Shiritori (しりとり) is a Japanese word game in which the players are required to say a word which begins with the final kana of the previous word. “Shiritori” means “taking the buttocks” or “taking the end”. It is a really great way to practice your Japanese and learn new words, all while having a fun time!


Here is how you play:

  • You need two or more people to play—it’s sort of hard to play alone, haha.
  • Only nouns are permitted.
  • If a player uses a word with the “ん” ending, they lose the game.
  • You can’t repeat the same word.
  • You can use “words” that have のin them, as long as they are concrete enough to be considered a word.

It’s pretty simple, but here is a quick example.

  • Player 1: Onigiri
  • Player 2: Risu
  • Player 1: Sumou
  • Player 2: Udon

So player 2 loses for using a word with the ending “ん”.

And there you have it, a quick and easy way to keep improving your Japanese. I was on a hot-streak when I played, and the game went on for about 20 minutes! And then I ran out of words and lost…But hey, she has an unfair advantage, she’s Japanese. Haha.

If you need someone to play Shiritori with, then let us know on Twitter! We would be happy to play a game or two.

See you next time, and thanks for sopping-by JapanSauce.Net!



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