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Otedama Games

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Otedama is a traditional japanese game played with 5 bean bags (Ojami).


To Make your own - 5 scraps of cotton fabric roughly 6.5 x 4 inches, needle and thread, dried lentils or aduki beans to fill.


To Make Ojami
Fold each peice of fabric in half with the short edges together and the good side of the fabric facing inwards.
Stitch along this edge using running stitch (or a sewing machine) knot the thread at both ends.
With a new thread stitch along the top edge, gathering the fabric as you go again knot the tread at both ends.
Turn the fabric right side out to form a tube, turn the unfinished edge in and again stitch with a gathered stitch, do not tie the thread off.
Fill with 2 oz of lentils or beans, gather up the open end and stitch closed.

Otedama Games

For beginners:

Scatter the five beanbags on the floor. Pick up one and toss it into the air. With the same hand, pick up another bag and transfer it to your other hand. Repeat until you have four beanbags in one hand, and catch the thrown beanbag in the other.

Scatter again. This time pick up two beanbags to transfer, and so on.

A simple game (similar to jacks):

Scatter the five beanbags on the floor. Pick up one and toss it into the air. With the same hand, pick up another bag and catch the falling one. Repeat until all the beanbags are picked up. Start again, but this time pick up two bags at each toss, then three bags, then four bags.

Finally, toss five beanbags into the air and catch as many as you can on the back of the same hand. Flip the bags that you caught into the air again and catch as many as you can in the palm of same hand.

Slightly more difficult:

Throw one beanbag up into the air. With the other hand, pick up a beanbag and wedge it between the fingers of the throwing hand, in time to catch the original beanbag. Throw again, and wedge another. Continue until 4 beanbags are wedged and the thrown beanbag is caught again.

Back of the hand:

Try throwing up one beanbag, then catching it on the back of the hand. Throw it up from the back of the hand, and catch again. Can you toss it from the back of one hand to the other hand? And back?


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