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日本語でもしてみむとて

現在遊ばれている「しりとり」は基本的に終わりの一文字をつないでやるものだと思いますが、例えば「がっこ」なら(東京の発音ではガッコーですが)次は「う」、「こうて」(コーテー)なら「い」というルールになると思います。

これを旧かな遣いで考えると「杖(つ)」は「ゑ」、「家(い)」は「へ」でないといけないと思います。そうだとすると子供の遊びにしてはやや難しいと思いますが、逆に言えば教育にはよかったのかもしれません(笑)。戦前はこのようにして遊んでいたのでしょうか。

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I did 尻取り games when I was a child before the war—more than 70 years ago—as every child did.

尻取り was one of the most popular and inexpensive games played among pre-war children, because they didn't have video games or smartphones to kill time as today's children do.

I and other children never paid attention to whether the ending letter of the word was を or お, え or ゑ, へ or え, because we were unable to tell the difference of the usage of these words which are pronounced same but written differently. We linked the words only based on the ending sound (the last syllable) of the preceding word and the beginning sound (the first syllable) of the following word, not on the characters, when playing a 尻取り game.

There was a problem, which occurred when the ending of the precedent word was ん, as there is no Japanese word that starts with ん. In that case, we followed the previous word with うん such as 運転手、運動会, and sometimes, うんこ and うんち, as we didn't know then big words like 運命、運気、運否天賦、薀蓄.

By the way, I'm curious to know whether Anglo-Americans, who don't have syllabic characters as we have in あいうえお, have a similar word game to 尻取り or not, and what they call it if they have one.

  • Haha. Sorry to say like this. Only those who were at that time are able to know.....+1. – Kentaro Tomono Jun 23 '16 at 23:28
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    @Kentaro Tomono. Do you know we were banned to learn English language at middle school during the wartime because it was a 敵性言語 - the enemy's language? We started to learn English as if we thirst for water after the end of war. – Yoichi Oishi Jun 23 '16 at 23:50
  • I know only through the textbooks. But if I am asked "do you know..." I am sorry to say, "how can I respond?" sorry. But this riddle ( I think Brocolli knows well before asking ( though implicitly asking, suspecting haha )) is hard for "young kids" ( Though I'm not a boy ). Thank you. – Kentaro Tomono Jun 24 '16 at 0:06
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    @broccoli forecast. It was a tacit agreement to pick up only the ending syllable i.e う and い, for which possible reason is it's easier to find the linked word by a mono-sylllable than compound syllable. – Yoichi Oishi Jun 26 '16 at 4:03
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    @broccoli forest. No. We played the same during war time with the way today's children do. We picked up the last syllable -単音節. Because It's difficult for children to come up with the subsequent words as a block of the long or compound syllable such as えい、こう、てい、しゃ、ぎゃ、ぎょ、(はく)しょん. That what I wrote in my comment – Yoichi Oishi Jun 26 '16 at 7:31
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You already knew that しりとり=尻取り, hip takings, am I correct? ( But let me answer since I did not at all. )

I found that しりとり can go back to even Heian Era, and it is related 文字鎖{もじぐさり}, ( what is 文字鎖{もじぐさり}?)

If you google by the word 文字鎖,a site comes up..

There 武者小路実隆{むしゃのこうじさねたか}(1661~1738), read 源氏物語,according to the rule of 文字鎖,whose pronunciation of the end of each verse corresponds with the pronunciation of the head of the next verse. Like this.

げんじもじぐさり 〖尻{しり}取{と}り系{けい}〗

Apparently, you can easily guess the origin of the word, しりとり is 尻取り, which I guess 尻{しり}, hip, in turn, would mean the end of the each verse, and might be connecting it.

He reads,

源氏{げんじ}のすぐれてやさしきは、はかなくきえし桐壺{きりつぼ}よ、よそにも見えし帚木{ははきぎ}は、われからねになく空蝉{うつせみ}や、やすらふみちの夕かほは、わかむらさきのいろごとに、にほふ末摘花{つえすむはな}の....

And I guess the word play has been passed on until the end of the war,

According to here, something like しりとり is read or said,

日本{にほん(やまと?)}の、乃木{のぎ}さんが、凱旋{がいせん}す、すずめ、めじろ、ロシヤ、野蛮国{やばんこく}、クロパトキン、金の玉{たま}、負けて逃げるはチャンチャン坊{ぼう}、棒{ぼう}で叩くは犬殺し、シベリア鉄道{てつどう}遠けれど、

So I guess, "people" did not use the old readings? when they play this word play???

Thank you again for your interesting question.

  • ありがとうございます。ただ、最初のリンクが別のところに飛んでます。あと、二番目のしりとりですが、すべて同じかな遣い同士を結んでいる(坊と棒の字音が違うことが判明したのが戦中)ので、どうなっていたのかがわからないのです。こういうふうに、意外と資料が見つからない問題なんです。 – broccoli forest Jun 23 '16 at 5:01
  • haha difficult to answer. lol. – Kentaro Tomono Jun 23 '16 at 7:10

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