Nikoli / Chinese Character Puzzles at 22nd Japan Bowl

2014-04-27 16:28   #14040001

img14040001_1img14040001_2 More than 220 students from 37 high schools in the US gathered to be part of the 22nd Japan Bowl, National Japanese Language & Culture Competition for High School Students. Currently approximately 60,000 high school students in the US have chosen to study Japanese as their foreign language.

Nikoli was invited to give a cultural workshop to the Japan Bowl participants. Maki Kaji, Godfather of Sudoku, shared his passion of puzzles by explaining the background history of Sudoku and Kakuro, another worldwide-spread puzzle Nikoli created. Maki said, "Ka of Kakuro means addition. Kuro means crossword. This is the number version of crossword puzzle." Students were intrigued by how Japanese create new words by combining more than two words as shown in the puzzle names, Sudoku and Kakuro.

Maki wrote down ten Chinese characters of Hi, which means "day" on the whiteboard. "Add only one stroke and create another character," he said. It was not only the exercise of Japanese language, but also it was a puzzle question. The audience was intrigued with the creativity of the puzzle.