On the dreaded “Kancho”

Japan is a really interesting place. Its culture is utterly fascinating and countless sociologists have spent their lives trying to decipher its many mysteries and quirks. However, there is one aspect of Japanese culture that is particularly perpexling to me. It is the game of “Kancho”, played by young and old alike.

So what exactly is the Kancho? Well this is what our dear friend Wikipedia tells us,

Kancho
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kancho (カンチョー, kanchō?)[1] is a prank often played in Japan; it is performed by clasping the hands together so the index fingers are pointing out and attempting to insert them sharply into someone’s anal region when the victim is not looking.[2][3] It is similar to the wedgie or a goosing, although, as compared to kancho, the former mentioned acts do not involve physical contact which is quite as intimate or direct. A Kancho is often executed simultaneously as the offending party loudly emphasizes the second syllable of “Kan-CHO!”.

The word is a slang adoption of the Japanese word for enema (浣腸, kanchō?)[4]. In accordance with widespread practice, the word is generally written in katakana when used in its slang sense, and in kanji when used of enemas in the medical sense.

Yes, in Japan, it is apparently a national past time to engage in Kancho related activities and jab each other up the butt. Think about it for a second, it is actually socially acceptable to do this as a joke, but to talk on your cellphone while riding the train is a big social faux-pas.

Before coming to Japan on JET, I had heard many tales and stories about the Kancho. My unscientific method consisted of asking every current and former JET I knew if they had experienced it. The anecdotal evidence I collected led me to the conclusion that 100% of the people in Japan have at some point been experienced the kancho.

Still, I held out hope that I would be different. That I, the great Apollo, could be a shining beacon of light in this bleak dreary world. A paragon of hope that one day, ONE day, all men and women may be able to walk freely without fear of being Kancho’ed. And so I made it my personal mission to never get Kancho’ed; to preserve the dignity and honor of Canadians everywhere, and to live by example.

Up until several days ago, my plan had been progressing excellently. My students both loved and feared me due to my patented blend of intimidation and approachability. No one would dare kancho Apollo-sensei for fear of some unspoken terrible but ambiguous repercussion.

So several days ago, I was happily sitting at my desk, when a small group of students came wandering into the teachers office. Among them were several of the little troublemakers, my fan club (as usual), and one of my favourite students, a sweet natured girl who always comes by to talk to me about her love of manga.

We chatted for a bit and joked around, but I made sure to stay firmly planted on my chair. Eventually I was able to shoe them all away to go home.

As I got up to speak to my coworker about what I had planned for the weekend, I heard in the most gleeful sweet little voice “Kannn-”

It was at that moment I realized what was about to happen. It was already too late to employ an evasive maneuver.

*” —C-C-C-C-H-H-H-H-O-O-O-O-OOOOOooooooooo!!!! ”

I couldn’t even brace for impact. It was a direct hit. The force of a million suns, concentrated into a single point.

I turned around and saw my sweet, good natured, manga loving student, smiling up at me, a look of total satisfaction in her eyes. She had taken me down. It was a reverse Gaijin-smash.

Japan – 1
Apollo – 0

” Hehe! You got Kan-cho! ” she exclaimed in the sweetest most innocent little voice. She grabbed her manga which she had accidentally left on my desk and scurried off, leaving me standing there, in utter shock and disbelief that I had been defeated so easily.

I shouldn’t have let my guard down. My ego had gotten the best of me and I allowed the enemy to sneak up from behind (literally). I am sorry to report that I too have succumbed to the dreaded Kancho. I have learned a valuable life lesson and that is  no one can be trusted,  not even the sweetest, most innocent of Japanese schoolgirls can ever ever be trusted. It was truly a sad day for all. I think I died a little inside.

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