Monday, November 16, 2015


When I was in elementary school, I was introduced to yan kin po by classmates.

The Japanese phrase, when written in Roman letters, is jan ken po.

But you know that J becomes our Y. Like Yigo.

I smiled when I read the following anecdote of an elderly Chamorro lady in Saipan.

Three older women sat outside the room where a legislative public hearing was being held on Saipan.

They weren't sure how they would be called in to testify and, as they didn't want to hurt anyone else's feelings by struggling over who would go first, they played yan kin po.

But what made me smile was that the first lady to go in to testify, the winner of the yan kin po, felt she had to tell the politicians this :

"Buenas noches. Man yan kin po hame gi san hiyong håye para u hålom fine'na."

"Good evening. We played yan kin po outside to see who would come in first."

The game started in China, and then spread to Japan.

So it's not surprising it is found in Saipan, where the Japanese ruled for 30 years. I wonder how it got to Guam, and why it goes by the Japanese name for it.

No comments:

Post a Comment