Rock Paper Scissors, also known as Ro Sham Bo or Jan Ken Pon, has become a universal game, played by children and adults alike. It’s a game of chance that requires no equipment, skills or strategy, but few people know the surprising history of this popular game and its place in world culture.
The roots of Rock Paper Scissors go beyond the playground and childish games. The game originated from China more than 2,000 years ago, during the Han Dynasty. The game was known as “Shoushiling” and was played by merchants to decide the price of their goods. It was also used by generals to engage in a battle of wits to determine their strategies.
The game then spread across Japan, where it was known as “Janken”. Samurai warriors played the game before battles, and it was also used in decision-making situations among the nobility. It became so popular that it even took on religious aspects, with priests using the game in temple rituals to determine auspicious times.
Rock Paper Scissors was introduced to the Western world in the 20th century. In the 1920s, the game became popular in the United States, where it was called “Jan Ken Pon”. It became even more widespread during World War II, as American and British soldiers brought the game to Europe and Asia.
Today, Rock Paper Scissors is played all over the world. It’s used in a variety of settings, from deciding who gets to go first in a game to settling disputes in courtrooms. It’s also become a staple in popular culture, featuring in television shows, movies and commercials.
The game even has its own world championships. The first World Rock Paper Scissors Championship was held in Toronto, Canada, in 2002. Since then, the event has grown in popularity, attracting players from around the world.
Rock Paper Scissors has also been used for charitable causes. In 2007, Hikaru “Rock” Ito, a professional Rock Paper Scissors player, launched the World RPS Society, a charitable organization that raises money for various causes through Rock Paper Scissors tournaments.
In conclusion, the surprising history of Rock Paper Scissors shows how a simple game can transcend borders, cultures and time. From ancient China to today’s world championships, this game has proven its versatility and appeal, becoming a part of world culture. Whether you’re playing for fun or making an important decision, Rock Paper Scissors will always be a game that’s here to stay.