Japanese Word Game しりとり (Shiritori)

Learn しりとり (shiritori), a Japanese Word Game, to Boost Your Vocabulary

しりとり is a game that we often play as kids while we’re on the train or in the car, while we’re waiting or have nothing to do — and it’s a great way to build your vocabulary.

The rules are simple. Start with a word and think of a word that begins with the last kana letter. Take the しり (rear) of the previous word and continue.  (*The name of the game comes from しりをとる “take the rear.”)

One important rule is that you can’t pick a word that ends with ん because there are no Japanese words that begin with ん. It’s a dead end.

So if you accidentally pick a word that ends with ん, you’re out, and the next person restarts with the last letter of the previous word.

The game will be more fun and challenging if you pick a theme.

Now, in this video, we play しりとり with food words!

Play along as you watch the video (Remember all the words from our hiragana and katakana series?) and join us and continue the しりとり in the comments section — hope to see you there!