Kancho: Japan’s Socially Acceptable Butt-Poking Game

Photo Credit: drsheff/YouTube

Have you been thinking of taking one of those jobs teaching English in Japan?

I know you’ve seen the ads.

I mean, why not? If you’re single, you want a bit of cultural exchange, and you don’t mind children, this could be a pretty sweet gig.

I have friends who’ve gone, and they all seemed to like it.

The pay isn’t great, but you get an excuse to hang in Japan.

Just make sure you watch your ass.


Photo Credit: did you know?

Sources: 1, 2, 3

Now, I don’t want you to get the idea that Kancho is universally acceptable in Japan.

A mother there is convinced that her daughter didn’t get into a preschool because she poked her mother during the interview, according to a 2009 NYT op-ed.

But, I mean, we both saw those statues up there in the slide.

And there’s also this 2010 blog by an exchange teacher that attests to the game’s rabid following in Korea.

As he goes into the many ways students try to jam their fingers into his bum (they call it “ddong chim” in Korea – which, hilariously, translates as “poop needle”), it comes as no surprise that the word “kancho” is a slang usage of the Japanese word for “enema.”

Here’s a video of a dude who unwittingly volunteered to play Santa at a Japanese orphanage in Florida learning a bit of cultural exchange the hard way:

He apparently didn’t know about Kancho before that day.

But he definitely does now…

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