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Official Rule of 'Watermelon Splitting Game' in Japan

August 25, 2018

Britain is already a bit chilly at the end of August. But, it's still so hot in Japan in this season. 

Do you like watermelon? I love watermelon and the majority of Japanese children do. Watermelon is a great refreshment in hot summer in Japan. It's so great except it's very expensive in general (about 1,000 -3,000 yen per watermelon)

Japanese Watermelon Splitting Game スイカ割

A certain kind of watermelon is ridiculously expensive. Have you ever seen this square-shaped watermelon? It's 10,000 yen (80 pounds / 110 dollars)!!!

Japanese watermelon splitting game

Did you know Japanese play with a watermelon in summer? You might think that it's crazy to play with such expensive fruits, but don't worry. Watermelon (after play) will be eaten.

The game is called 'Suika-Wari スイカ割' and this means Watermelon (Suika) Splitting (Wari). 

Here's how to play briefly.

1. Player ties a blindfold on his/her eyes

2. Grab a stick (normally wooden one is used) 

3. Hit watermelon and split it!

Pretty simple, isn't it?

Japanese watermelon splitting game

Actually, there are many ways to play this game in Japan. TD Blog found its 'official' rule set by The Association of Watermelon Splitting and explain how to play officially.

According to the official rule...

Location of Watermelon Splitting Game (WSG)

On the beach (sand) or on the grass.

I'd personally think the beach is the best

What do you need for WSG?

Watermelon - has to be Japanese watermelon (of course, please ignore this one when you play outside Japan. Follow local rule set by local association)

Stick - avoid plastic or too soft one. Diameters no more than 5cm. Lengths no more than 1.2m

People - Two people (player/hitter) plus instructors who tell the player about the location of watermelon. 

Towel - to blindfold player

Order of Play

First, the distance between watermelon and a player needs to be between 5 and 7 meters.

Check player is blindfold properly. 

Formation Rolling - Put your stick to the forehead and put another side on the ground. Then, revolve around the stick clockwise 5 and 2/3 times. 

Playtime is 90 seconds

Instructors can support player by instructing the location of watermelon.

Instructions not allowed:

Advice not related to the game

Anything insulting the player

Standing right behind watermelon and tell the player comes to the direction of the voice. 

If the player does NOT hit watermelon, the player can try to hit up to 3 times. 

If watermelon is hit regardless of proper hit or a grazing hit, the player must stop play.

How to Score

No hit  - 0 point

Hit - 1 point

Cracked - 2 to 4 points (depends on the damage of watermelon)

Deeply Cracked (at least red meat of watermelon can be seen) - 5 points 

Japanese watermelon splitting game


Winning player (team) can eat watermelon. If players play well, you don't need to cut (which is great, isn't it?)

See? It's a pretty simple game to play, but you'll find actually it's much more exciting to play WSG. The key to this game is obviously cooperation between player and instructor(s). 

Instructors are normally more than one people. You'll exactly understand what 'Too many cooks spoil the broth' means when you play this game!

Don't forget to clean everything after you play. Actually, it's also written in the official rule of WSG! (smile)

Japanese watermelon splitting game

Thank you for reading!





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