Teachers' Questions: What is Maru Batsu?

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Q: Could you please tell me what a batsu game is and give me some examples of it in practice? The Japanese people in my office explained the concept, but couldn't give me any examples. Please help! Ara, Japan

Good question! It's a bit tricky to know exactly what your predecessor meant with "batsu game", but here are a few bits of info that might help.

"Batsu" in Japanese means the cross mark ( x ) you put when something is wrong. You can also express it by crossing your arms in front of you. (e.g. ask you supervisor for a 3 week paid holiday in Hawaii and this is the gesture you'll receive).

The opposite of "batsu" is "maru" (circle O ) which means something is correct. This is expressed by holding your arms above you in a circle ( a bit like a ballet dancer).

So the "Batsu Game" could mean asking the kids a question and they answer either true or false by making the Maru or Batsu gestures. ( However this isn't too good of a game as the kids aren't talking! )

Another meaning of the word "batsu" is as a forfeit in a game. i.e. in JHS if you play "criss cross" then the loser gets a forfeit, or a "batsu".

Hope this helps!

One other point of interest, when teachers mark papers they put circles (or "maru") around the correct points. Putting a tick mark (like in the West) means the same as "batsu"!

Be genki,


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Be genki,


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