Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Here's the deal: You are at your new job, teaching English in Japan.  It’s an exciting day-the first day you meet your new students.  The little darlins’. 

You are walking along, minding your own business.  You hear some giggling…sneaking up behind you.  Before you have a chance to turn around-WHAM.  It’s too late. 

You’ve just been kancho-ed. 

Let me explain.  

Kancho is, for lack of a better term, a type of “game” that primarily elementary age children in Japan inflict on each other.  I use the word “inflict” as opposed to “play” because…well, you’ll see.

To prepare for the kancho action, you need to fold your hands palms together, while sticking your pointer fingers outwards.  You sneak up behind your unsuspecting prey.  When ready, thrust your pointed fingers as quickly and as firmly as you can in-between your prey’s gluteus maximi, aiming for the anus.

It’s just as horrifying as it sounds. 

The supposed “idea” behind kancho is that the inflictor is “helping” their prey by “jamming them up” so they won’t need to use the restroom quite as soon.  

I say that’s a bunch of bologna. 

Most foreigners who live in Japan and teach in Japanese elementary schools develop a kancho radar (read more here).  To be safe from the eager little fingers, one has to be absolutely alert and aware of their surroundings.  At all times.  

Fortunately for me, this seems to be-more or less-a boy thing.  I have only had one instance to deal with…I made sure this 2nd grade boy (who went for the front !?!?) knew that it wasn’t ok. 

Unfortunately for Karl, it seems to be a boy thing.  He’s had a lot more to deal with than me. 

Pin It!


  1. Oh America that would be sexual harassment/assault! How does the culture justify it besides making a claim that you won't have to "go" more often? Poor Karl!

  2. I know, I can't believe it either! What is the craziest thing is that the adults are just like, "oh yeah...kancho." And that's it!

  3. Ah, the every lovely goosing. It sucks. I think one of my friends tried to do it to me and nearly got a broken wrist.