Japanese students test their TV trivia knowledge and their ability to keep up with the beat in this new rhythm game that’s gone viral.

One of the first things foreigners often notice about Japanese television is that the country seems to favor a different kind of humor from the kind of stand-up, satire, and black comedy more popular in the West. Here owarai (comedy) mostly consists of manzai (straight-man/funny-man) duos and skits revolving around the same trademark one-liners and poses over and over again.

It’s great if you like a degree of predictability, but sometimes it can be a nightmare, especially for English teachers who have recently had to put up with numerous daily outbursts of “WHY JAPANESE PEOPLE?” from students mimicking comedian Jason Atsugiri.

But in a new game that’s sweeping Japanese junior high and high schools, students take these infamous celebrities and their catch phrases and combine them with rhythm play to create a game that net users have been tagging on social media sites like Twitter as the #geinojingame (#comedian/celebrity game) or the #saitosangame.

The rules are simple. Get two or more people to play, clap out a rhythm together, and when someone calls out a comedian or talento’s name, everyone has to respond with that person’s signature joke or catchphrase.

Both games work basically the same way, and were likely based on earlier rhythm games on television like Mechaginton, where contestants have to answer the correct onomatopes to Japanese words like “nyan/nya” (“meow”) for cat or “wan” (“woof”) for dog, or Mechaike!’s Bakusou Kazutoridan segment in the past, where yankee guys riding on motorcycles had to reply in time to the rhythm with the correct Japanese counter, like “ichizen” for a pair of chopsticks, or “nihiki” when counting two small animals.


▼ Bakusou Kazutoridan on Mechaike!

But unlike the programs mentioned above, Geinojin Game or Saito-san Game is purely for fun, and there aren’t any guys dressed like sumo wrestlers to rough you up if you can’t supply the proper tagline.

If you’re keen on testing your Japanese celebrity knowledge or impressing your Japanese friends, why not try giving it a whirl? Or better yet, switch out Japanese celebrities with popular meme characters and their expressions instead.


Sources: Netorabo, Twitter/yuzu526coco518, Twitter/22Ns2, Twitter/@ninonao0927, Twitter/@0304Manaka,  YouTube/MAKOTO YAMANAKA, YouTube/Heing Sony
Top/feature image: Twitter/@0304Manaka
Insert image: Meme Generator