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Monday, September 15, 2008


"Kokkuri-san, Kokkuri-san."

Two girls, sitting across from each other over a paper scrawled with
the hiragana alphabet grasp a pen between them, chanting the name softly.
"Kokkuri-san, Kokkuri-san, tell me, when is the date of my death?"

The question hangs in the air as the pen slowly begins to move,
spelling the answer out on the sheet of paper. The rest of the group watches in
breathless anticipation.
Kokkuri-san, Japan's answer to the Ouija board, has
graced schoolrooms across the country for years with answers from the beyond.

In this game, the hiragana alphabet is drawn on a piece of paper, and
two people hold a pen, ballpoint touching the paper, in the center.

Closing their eyes, they ask "Kokkuri-san" a question, and the spirit
is supposed to move the pen in an answer.

Much like Ouija, most people realize that the other person is moving the pen purposefully, but everyone makes their dutiful squeals of "sugoi!" and "kowaii!" anyway.

Also, in line with its Ouija board counterpart, the game has been subject fodder for horror movies such as the aforementioned "Shinsei no Toilet no Hanako-san," and one called simply "Kokkuri-san."

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