Not Choosing Thievery


After recess today, I returned to the school office and loudly told a few teachers that I did not want to become a thief. Yes, I sometimes make strange statements to shock the teachers; however, there is always something genuine stuck in there.

The fourth graders spotted me on the playground and forced me into their game of kei-doro (警泥). It is not uncommon for me to be inserted into whatever play activity is going on. I’m not sure if it is because I am a foreigner or if it’s because I’m the only adult at school who will join them. (Sometimes the adults at school take themselves a little too seriously.)

Anyhow, kei-doro is a combination of keisatsu or keikan (警察/警官) – being a police officer – and dorobo (泥棒) – being a thief or burglar. Let’s just call it ‘cops and robbers’. Basically this is a variant of tag in which the cops chase after the thieves and tag them. Thieves are then obliged to head to a holding cell where they can make a run for it if a not yet captured thief tags them.

Because of my popularity, any game of tag includes me being continually chased by all of the ‘it’ players. While I still have enough speed and endurance to outrun an elementary school kid, there are always a couple students who have caught their breath and rejoined the chase so, ultimately I succumb to the pounding in my lungs. This is clearly why the fox always loses to the hounds in a hunt.

After capturing me, they kept me under guard of four officers, making escape almost futile and of horrible risk to my would be rescuers. I did make one jailbreak and after getting a strong lead, made use of the chaos of a dodge ball game to mask my squatting body. To slow the police down a bit, I also injected some realism into the game, requiring them to escort the prisoner to the cell.

Anyhow, my lesson for the teachers was a two parter:

  1. The thief is always on the run and in jeopardy
  2. If caught, it is horribly boring sitting in a cell

Two of the teachers laughed. One just looked at me like I was nuts, but that’s not a new look.


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3 Responses to “Not Choosing Thievery”

  1. verbivore Says:

    I’m glad you have fun with the kids. I can’t help thinking it makes it easier for them to meet other foreigners when they have such good experiences with another. Hopefully they won’t try to chase all the foreigners they meet, but you know what I mean!

  2. びっくり Says:

    Yeah, I try to have lots of fun. I also teach them not to use offensive phrases and offer alternatives. And no stabbing fingers into butt cracks (very popular with young boys). And how to shake hands without being a dead fish or oppressive jerk. When a guest came from Nova Scotia, the kids were really interested in talking to him and listening. I was so proud. 🙂

  3. titus2woman Says:

    This entire image just makes me ~smile~. (((((HUGS))))) sandi

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