I think the US is in some sense very much a poker society.

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Jun 21Liked by Leon

This was so interesting - well done

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I just heard a year ago (+ some) that 2 sumo rikishi (Hidenoumi and his assistant Shiden) were suspended for one tournament for being in a possibly- illegalish place playing pachinko. They weren't arrested or charged, but the flap cost Shiden his promotion into the salaried ranks of Juryo. It's a shame, for lots of reasons.

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Apr 23Liked by Leon

> Following the Japanese surrender, WWII Japanese refugees in Nagoya were in need of subsidies. At the time, there was as strong aspect of shame associated with simply accepting charity, especially from external forces. As a workaround, pachinko formed the basis of [‘earning’ prizes](https://videogamehistorian.wordpress.com/tag/service-games/). The more you won at pachinko, the more basic necessities were provided.


> Here the prize system was formalised. It allowed for the distribution of essential goods without diminishing the player's self worth.

Do you have more info on this? It's really interesting but, as far as I can tell, the source you linked doesn't fully back it up. It confirms what you said about the types of prize, but that's all:

> The impact of pachinko on post-war Japan was unlike any coin-operated machine phenomenon the world had seen to that point. By playing the game, Japanese citizens were able to win everything from soap to vegetables to cigarettes, all of which were in incredibly short supply after World War II.

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One thing that i think is an important part of pachinko history in japan is its heritage among Korean immigrants.

My grandfather for example moved to Japan from Korea shortly after the war (as many other Koreans did) and were treated as 2nd class citizens (like in the book called Pachinko by Min Jin Lee).

And he and his friends grouped together and began operating pachinko parlours out of Kyoto. Their shop is the only remaining shop in Gion area I believe.

These Korean 'friends' actually grouped together to help keep the Yakuza at bay back in the day.

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