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Thread: What the heck has naha13 been up to?

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    Pachi Puro naha13's Avatar
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    Default What the heck has naha13 been up to?

    It's been quite awhile, so I'm not sure where to begin. Last year my basement flooded a couple times, then I had to get half of it jack-hammered up to replace a bunch of old cast iron sewer pipe. After that we decided to just remodel the basement (~1700 sq ft) and had to pack it out to a storage unit in the driveway and all over the upstairs. That was how the year started out, besides working and taking a physics class (I passed, by the skin of my butt). Then earlier this summer, my father-in-law passed away a few states away. I'm still working on the basement, and I'm back in a summer English class that finishes up this week, just in time for Pachitalk fantasy football. My final for this English class is an 8 page essay - on pachinko of course! I'll try to post a copy later after I submit it this week, and let everyone have a chance to "grade" it. When it gets graded I'll post what I got. Here's how it starts out:

    “Japanese Pachinko – Just a Game or Gambling Addiction?”
    At a glance, Japanese pachinko machines look just like any other harmless electronic game. What is not immediately apparent is how this seemingly simple game could be the source of a nation’s gambling woes. I argue that the difference between game and addiction is that it depends on where one lives. In Japan, pachinko is available to play everywhere for a price in casino-like shops. In America, pachinko games are imported after market and sold to private collectors for their own amusement, no fee to play required. For a better perspective of both sides, I will begin with the history of the pachinko game.
    Pachinko -Nishijin "C" Fishing Game & Hockey, Red Lions, CR Red Lions, Heiwa Double Wing, Takao Bruce Lee, SanseiR&D 777 Sevens Rock, Sankyo Wanted!, lots of other vintages!; Pachislo -SPIN LUCK, Kung Fu Lady, Gamera High Grade, Gundam

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    Pachi Puro naha13's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the heck has naha13 been up to?

    Here's the full text. Let me know what you think. I got an A for the class on this one
    At a glance, Japanese pachinko machines look just like any other harmless electronic game. What is not immediately apparent is how this seemingly simple game could be the source of a nation’s gambling woes. I argue that the difference between game and addiction is that it depends on where one lives. In Japan, pachinko is available to play everywhere for a price in casino-like shops. American individuals and companies import pachinko games after market and are sold to private collectors for their own amusement, no fee to play required. For a better perspective of both sides, I will begin with the history of the pachinko game.
    To acquire a brief history of how pachinko came to be the game it is today, pickup a copy of Winning Pachinko, an authoritative source on the game of pachinko by Eric Sedensky. The book begins with a foreword from Robert J. Collins, author of the book Japan-Think, Ameri-Think, describing a supposed conversation of what may have been on the mind of the inventors who created the pachinko game board. It starts with “OK, here’s the plan. We’ll take a flat board, maybe a foot and a half by a couple feet, and we’ll paste colorful pictures on it. Airplanes, and things.” (Sedensky) Collins describes in a few short paragraphs who the average pachinko player in Japan is, how a player can win money back from the game, and what to expect from Sendensky’s book on how to play the game. The opening chapter of Sendensky’s book starts with a brief history of how the game of pachinko evolved from its roots as a 1920’s game meant to attract children into shops. The chapters that follow take the reader through the pachinko parlors, which are a Japanese version of an American casino, and describe the art of game play. Sedensky describes the process of how to select a specific machine to play. He also describes the game board in very explicit detail down to how the metal pins are arranged in groups on the game board and their influence on game play. I maintain that Sendensky’s overall assessment that pachinko is fun yet complicated to be very accurate indeed. Pachinko continued to develop as a purely mechanical game through the 1970s and added only limited features such as a light that flashed when the player hit a jackpot payout, and more complex versions added electro-mechanical parts. Starting in the 1980s, pachinko machines began using electronic circuit boards, and pachinko evolution has kept pace with technology ever since.
    Pachinko machines eventually outlive both their technology and theme after one to two years and are removed from the parlors, after which the machines are either thrown away or take on a new life. That life extends game play beyond the parlors and into other countries. In an effort to show the reach of information about pachinko and how far it has traveled beyond the borders of Japan, I share the following bit of first hand knowledge about a certain copy of Winning Pachinko. A copy of this book has been shared in both paperback and electronic form amongst most of what I would call a hard-core group of pachinko enthusiasts around the world. By sharing, I mean this group has mailed a single copy of this paperback book from person to person, to various places around the globe. Each time it has been forwarded to another devotee a memento has been added to the package it was sent in as evidenced on this Pachitalk forum page:
    [IMG]file://localhost/Users/scottanderson/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/msoclip/0clip_image002.gif[/IMG]
    First hand knowledge of this process occurred because the writer of this essay was one of the participants under the username “naha13.” In addition, I have been “addicted” to the game ever since living on Okinawa in the late sixties. I grew up with a 1950’s model pachinko in my father’s house. My recent experience includes a collection of pachinko games ranging from the 1950s though the 2000s. Herein lies the difference in America: I obtained my collection of pachinko games for a one-time cost, and now I can enjoy them as long as I desire without spending more money on them, or I can sell them and buy more. Some enthusiasts call it an addiction, while others just call it a hobby on par with collecting stamps or coins.
    In Japan, pachinko is far from being a hobby. It is a national past time. Pachinko games, like casino games in America, are a source of gambling addiction in Japan. An article titled Gambling Addiction in the Land of Pachinko (Noriko) describes a first hand account of being a third generation gambling addict in Japan by the author and gambling addict, Tanaka Noriko. Noriko takes the reader through her exposure to gambling at an early age following her grandfather to pachinko parlors, unaware at the time how much it was costing him to play the games in the parlor. Continuing the tradition, her father became a compulsive gambler too. By the time Noriko married, she and her husband were headed down a path to serious debt issues due to their gambling habits. Only on their own did the couple find their way to repay mounting debts and seek help from support groups.
    Noriko’s story of gambling addiction would certainly not make any headlines in America. In America there are fewer casinos per player and yet there are a multitude of support groups and public information about the dangers of gambling. Notices about gambling addiction are even placed on the back of lottery tickets sold in the United States. In Japan gambling addiction is a story usually kept private and confined to immediate family members for fear of public shame. Other views noted in Pachinko: A Japanese Addiction? describe pachinko as addictive and the frequent players of pachinko as pathological gamblers.
    The article Gambling Addiction in the Land of Pachinko furthers my thesis regarding issues of gambling addiction related to pachinko play in Japan. To put things in perspective, the amount of money spent on pachinko at the time of this article was the equivalent of $250 billion US dollars. The article also relates the impact this gambling addiction has on the families of the pachinko gambler that will assist in my research of this side of the game. The fact that the game of pachinko is downplayed in Japanese culture as a form of gambling inhibits any meaningful change towards this attitude. Also, given that Japanese people are raised to always “save face” and not air their personal issues in public (they would be publicly shamed for doing so), the weight of a person’s gambling issues are usually placed on their immediate family. In addition to being a social issue in Japan, pachinko is intertwined into Japanese culture from the individual player to the police, and to organized crime as well.
    Trends of Japan's Giant Leisure Industry: Pachinko (Hirano) shows in detail how accessible pachinko is to the Japanese public. It also describes Japanese law in regards to commercial gambling in detail. The article begins by showing a falling trend since 1996 of how many Japanese people have been to a pachinko parlor at least one time in their life. This falling trend does not appear to severely impact the revenue pachinko brings in each year ($16.7 billion dollars at the time of this article). It does, however, appear to have a positive economic impact in relation to the 340,000 people employed by pachinko parlors in 2002 and the equivalent of $10 billion dollars in salaries that were paid out to these employees.
    Pachinko is viewed in Japan as a leisure activity and does not significantly “stir up one’s gambling spirit”. That is the “spirit” of the law in Japan and a major reason pachinko is so widespread and virtually unchecked by authorities. To put that in perspective, the number of pachinko parlors as of 2002 was 16,504, and the number of machines totaled almost five million. Compare that to only about 600,000 gaming machines in the United States with roughly twice the population of Japan. Given that the article I obtained this data from was published by the UNLV in Las Vegas, the reliability of the information appears to be good and aligns with the other sources I have cited.
    The next article found, Ball and chain: gambling’s darker side (Scott), starts out with a first hand account of an addicted gambler and Tokyo ex-pat under the name of Wayne Smith (a pseudonym) giving his methods of gambling avoidance. Mr. “Smith” did not want to be named for the interview as publicity regarding his gambling would negatively impact his job. Smith’s primary method of gambling avoidance is to keep all his money in cash: specifically ¥500 yen coins. His reasoning seems solid. Pachinko parlors do not accept ¥500 coins, and Japanese banks are not open after hours (6 p.m.) or on weekends to exchange the coins into useable currency at the pachinko parlor. His other reason - “coins will survive a fire at home and are more cumbersome for burglars to steal.” The extent to which Smith gambled away his money is underscored by his statement that he could have purchased a house with all of the money he lost to pachinko. While Smith has spent a considerable sum in the process, he has managed to stay out of financial trouble due to a large income-producing job.
    The process of using a specific piece of currency illustrates the extent to which Smith went to, but has only succeeded in avoiding pachinko for a period of six months in a row. He has subsequently relapsed several times since. Methods such as this currency trade are obviously not enough to cure Smith’s gambling addiction to pachinko, yet is kept in check to some degree. I suppose nothing can truly replace the high of a big cash win.
    Japan’s economic dependence on pachinko goes further than the player with a gambling addiction. The deep-seated issue of police corruption in Japan also impacts the gambling addiction of its population. The system used to operate the pachinko parlors in Japan heavily depends on interaction with the police. To open a pachinko parlor, owners must obtain permission from the police. The police in turn dictate the statutes under which the parlors can operate. Add to that a cozy relationship with the Yakuza (Japan’s most notable crime organization) by way of police operated slush funds and a well funded pachinko industry. The ordinary player is left with few choices when money spent on gambling exceeds the player’s monetary resources.
    According to David T. Johnston, author of Above the Law? Police Integrity in Japan (Johnston), organized crime involvement in pachinko parlors has been reduced in recent years, but the Yakuza still retain control of the parlors in Tokyo, Japan, and are overlooked because they rarely engage in other forms of crime. A survey was conducted and reported in Johnston’s article that showed a high score for integrity within the Japanese Police compared to their American counterparts, but that survey has been tarnished by published reports of scandals and widespread corruption. The relationship between organized crime and the Japanese police have “in a Western sense, a far more reaching, more institutionalized form of corruption” (Johnston). All combined, the chain of corruption in the pachinko industry is far- reaching and well embedded in Japanese society. Johnston’s report also mentions the reason police corruption continues is that the other law enforcement agencies that would investigate police activity also engage in the same practice of embezzlement and corruption. Not only is this a systemic problem within law enforcement, but also very few Japanese scholars actively study the police and Western scholars are not adept at reading the documented cases of corruption within the police forces.
    While the police in Japan may not have changed their customs in a public way, the Japanese legislature has made recent changes in the country’s gambling policy. One change made by the Diet (Japan’s version of the United States Congress) in 2016 is a departure from the traditional Japanese resistance to gambling establishments that will allow some casinos to be built. In a more recent 2018 change, the Diet added anti-addiction rules aimed at the size of pachinko winnings in an effort to reduce gambling addiction by reducing payouts. Pachinko parlors have three years to come into compliance with the new anti-addiction laws. The story detailing these changes appears in the July 31, 2018 online copy of The Japan Times (Urunaka) and highlights the future impacts of these recent changes made by the Diet that include reduced attendance levels in pachinko parlors and an increase in parlor bankruptcies. In addition, pachinko parlors will likely reduce the frequency they replace machines. The typical pachinko machine can cost parlors the U.S. equivalent of between $3,500 to $4,500 dollars, and industry wide is already costing the pachinko business approximately one third of their annual revenue estimated at ¥3 trillion. Combine this with the count of pachinko parlors being down in numbers from a peak in the 1990s of approximately 17,000 to today’s count of about 9,600, and the outlook appears to be dismal. In addition, about half of those 9,600 pachinko parlors currently do not intend to replace any machines. Pachinko machine manufacturers such a Heiwa Corp., will likely survive the recent legislative changes for a short time as they will still be supplying new pachinko machines to existing parlors. Other companies such as Sega Sammy Holdings and Dynam Japan Holdings Co. are making plans to supply gaming machines to the new casinos. According to Kimiharu Sato, a director at Dynam Co., the legislative changes will be a “chance to expand the player base, and to gain the participation of a younger generation”. I argue it is all merely a ploy to get a new generation of players addicted to gambling, thus negating the intended reduction of gambling addiction amidst a rare public move in Japanese society to reduce it. This is shown by the fact that Dynam is already producing gaming machines to obtain a younger following by manufacturing “low-stakes “one-yen” machines”. Something else to note about the pachinko machine manufacturers is that they have not lobbied heavily against the new laws as other companies larger than their own will benefit.
    Beyond regulatory issues, there is yet another side to the story of the pachinko parlor. An odd but true note regarding pachinko parlors is that they are primarily owned and run by ethnic Koreans. After World War II, Koreans that migrated to Japan found they could not get work in traditional lines of business as their country of birth was not embraced by the Japanese people. Instead, the Korean immigrants turned to a less popular line of work and have turned the pachinko parlor into what it is today. The parlors that are still run by the descendants of the Korean immigrants will have a difficult time surviving in this new legislative environment and may end up giving way to the bigger parlor chains just as our own corner grocery stores have been swept up by the likes of Wal-Mart.
    In America we only have one functional pachinko parlor to amuse people- Pachinko World – located at 5101 Dunlea Court in Wilmington, North Carolina. According to a report in 2017 by television station WWAY in Wilmington, North Carolina, Owner Leo Danielsmade the news back in Japan when Pachinko World appeared in a very popular Japanese magazine. WWAY highlighted Daniels “for his mind stimulating games”. Daniel Seamens, the author of this story for WWAY, also wrote “Studies have found that games like his (Leo Daniels) pachinko machines keep the mind healthy”, but did not provide a reference for this study. According to https://www.facebook.com/PachinkoWorld/, the Facebook page for Pachinko World, they are a family owned business. But make no mistake - it still costs money to play at Pachinko World - at the rate of $1 for 50 balls. The rate of 50 balls for a $1 to play does not sound like a lot, but the cost to buy the same balls on the Internet for a privately owned machine ranges from three to five cents per ball depending on the quantity purchased.
    Given that a vintage pachinko machine from the 70s can be had for an average of $50 including about 500 balls, pachinko players in the United States and around the world can enjoy pachinko as much as they want without the hazard of a dangerous addiction like players in Japan are exposed to at the pachinko parlors. Unless, of course, one pachinko machine grows to ten or twenty machines after the “addiction” of pachinko takes hold. Then the Japanese slot machines called pachislots come calling and one slot machine also turns into ten or twenty.

    Works Cited
    Brooks, Graham; Ellis, Tom; Lewis, Chris. (2008) Pachinko: A Japanese Addiction?, International Gambling Studies, 8:2, 193-205, DOI:
    10.1080/14459790802168958
    https://doi.org/10.1080/14459790802168958
    Hirano, Ko and Kiyomi Takahashi. "Trends of Japan's Giant Leisure Industry: Pachinko." UNLV Gaming Research & Review Journal. 7.2 (2003): p55,56.
    https://web-a-ebscohost-com.hal.weber.edu/ehost/detail/detail?vid=4&sid=4be23589-d951-48ad-8f40-5dccd8eb3a1d%40sessionmgr4010&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ== - db=asn&AN=10450731
    Johnston, David T. Above the Law? Police Integrity in Japan. Social Science Japan Journal Vol. 6, No. 1 (Apr., 2003), pp. 19-37/ Oxford University Press.
    https://www.jstor.org/stable/30209411
    Noriko, Tanaka. Gambling Addiction in the Land of Pachinko. Trans. Translated from the original story written in Japanese. Tokyo: Nippon.com, 2018.
    https://www.nippon.com/en/currents/d00367/
    Pachitalk. Internet forum, accessed August 10, 2018
    http://www.pachitalk.com/forums/show...inko-(Round-2)
    Seamens, Daniel. “Wilmington’s Pachinko World makes news in Japan”. WWAY TV 3, Wilmington, N.C.. June 27, 2017 12:00 AM
    https://www.wwaytv3.com/2017/06/27/wilmingtons-pachinko-world-makes-news-in-japan/
    Sedensky, Eric C. Winning Pachinko, The Game of Japanese Pinball. Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Publishing Co., Inc., 1991.
    Scott, Simon. “Ball and chain: gambling’s darker side”. The Japan Times. (May 24, 2014): Lifestyle section
    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2014/05/24/lifestyle/ball-chain-gamblings-darker-side/ - .W2N-1IW6XUh
    Uranaka, Taiga; Ando, Ritsuko. “Already in decline, Japan’s pachinko industry now braces for gambling-addiction regulations”. The Japan times. (Jul 31, 2018): Business Section
    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/07/31/business/already-suffering-slowdown-japans-pachinko-industry-now-braces-gambling-addiction-regulations/
    Pachinko -Nishijin "C" Fishing Game & Hockey, Red Lions, CR Red Lions, Heiwa Double Wing, Takao Bruce Lee, SanseiR&D 777 Sevens Rock, Sankyo Wanted!, lots of other vintages!; Pachislo -SPIN LUCK, Kung Fu Lady, Gamera High Grade, Gundam

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    Kungishi Tink's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the heck has naha13 been up to?

    Well done.

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    Pachi Puro Peteybob's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the heck has naha13 been up to?

    Quote Originally Posted by naha13 View Post
    According to a report in 2017 by television station WWAY in Wilmington, North Carolina, Owner Leo Daniels made the news back in Japan when Pachinko World appeared in a very popular Japanese magazine. WWAY highlighted Daniels “for his mind stimulating games”. Daniel Seamens, the author of this story for WWAY, also wrote “Studies have found that games like his (Leo Daniels) pachinko machines keep the mind healthy”, but did not provide a reference for this study.


    Given that a vintage pachinko machine from the 70s can be had for an average of $50 including about 500 balls, pachinko players in the United States and around the world can enjoy pachinko as much as they want without the hazard of a dangerous addiction like players in Japan are exposed to at the pachinko parlors. Unless, of course, one pachinko machine grows to ten or twenty machines after the “addiction” of pachinko takes hold. Then the Japanese slot machines called pachislots come calling and one slot machine also turns into ten or twenty.
    Here is the study reference reported by Daniel Seamans August 17, 2016. I remember this one and had it bookmarked.
    https://www.wwaytv3.com/2016/08/17/e...e-brain-games/ (video and write up)


    One machine grows to ten or twenty? What could you mean? Yes I have many as I originally thought a game or two would replace my urge to visit some local casinos to play their slots. I figured the cost of few machines was equal to my former spending habit and I'd also have something to own and to keep playing at no additional cost. I guess the new addiction became the hunt for and finding of additional machines to own and play.

    Very nice write-up naha13!! Well worth the "A" in your class

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