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The History of Pachinko

This video gives you an excellent idea of what playing Pachinko is Japan was like in the 60's & '70's.

Pachinko in the 60's and 70's - Watch Now



"Pachinko has been played all over the Orient since 1947.  It was originally designed to be a diversionary or entertaining game for the Japanese.  Since 1947. the game has taken on many different uses for play.

Just after World War II, pachinko was played by many Japanese war refugees and the prizes were part of a subsidization program for them,  similar to a food stamp program.  The bigger the winner, the more commodity goods one could get.  This way the Japanese pride was not tarnished by accepting charity.  The Japanese society frowned upon accepting any form of charity.  But by playing pachinko, they felt they had been personally responsible for earning their own food.  The players would take the balls and redeem them for either food items or coupons worth so much towards the purchase of food.
After Japan made  her speedy recovery from the ravages of war, the game took on another characteristic for play.  It was played much the same as games found in carnivals around our country.  Pachinko was played just for fun and the most popular prizes were American cigarettes and other cherished imported items.
In the early 1960's the Japanese pachinko parlors became much closer to true gambling casinos.  The game was played not only for prizes, but for money.  However, because of underground connections, the game was accused of being fixed.  Many Japanese were losing their entire paychecks by playing pachinko, whereas, before, they were winning enough to support themselves.

In the late 1960's the Japanese government stepped in and prohibited the pachinko parlors from paying off in money.  This significantly reduced the underground's interest in the operation of the pachinko parlors.  This meant that the pachinko parlors reverted back to the way they were in the 1950's.
Today, the pachinko parlors are actual family entertainment centers with bright lights and lively colors.  The whole family plays pachinko several hours a week or more! "

*This article originally appeared in an ad for Pachinko Palace, which was one of the large importers of pachinko machines*


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