Pachinko

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In the English course, we kept thinking about our own culture and practicing explaining many Japanese cultural things.

     On the final day, I had an opportunity to talk about Pachinko with one of my classmates, who is working at a Pachinko parlor as an accountant. Before writing about her story, I will write about Pachinko down here.

     Pachinko is a game which is a mixture between slot machine and pinball. There are many places where you can play Pachinko here in Nagoya. In fact, Pachinko was born in Nagoya! The places are usually called Pachinko parlors. Probably you think it is noisy even outside when you pass by near one of them because there are a lot of Pachinko machines in it.

     Players just control the speed of small steel balls of the Pachinko machine. Most of the balls are just fall down and disappear. But if you are lucky, some balls get into special halls of the machine, you can get many balls. You can exchange them into a variety of goods. And then you can exchange the goods for cash outside. You know, here in Japan, gambling is prohibited. So for the bypass of the law, each Pachinko parlor has a small hut with a small window outside, and you can get money there. It means that you sell the goods to the hut. Hmmm, who thought of the idea first?

     As I wrote above, one of my classmates works at a Pachinko parlor. When we talked about Pachinko, she said to me, “I hate Pachinko!” I am not interested in Pachinko at all, but I won’t use the word “hate” for Pachinko. So I asked her how come she didn’t like Pachinko so much.

     According to her, about 20 millions change hands at the parlor every day. The large sum of money sickens her. She seems to think those money is not good money. She hates the company executive, too. She seems to think he is a money-grubber. She says, “I don’t like money.” Hmmm…I like money, though…

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