Daruma-san / The Bath Game, Japanese children’s game

Daruma-san, also known as The Bath Game, is probably best described as a deadly version of Red Light, Green Light. Following the initial summoning ritual has been performed, it follows the basic rules of a Japanese children’s game called Darumasan ga Koronda — literally, “The Daruma doll fell down.” The participant is “it,” while Daruma-san tries to grab “it.” However, if Daruma-san catches you… well, let’s just say you should never, EVER let that occur. Curiously, Daruma or Dharma dolls are traditionally symbols of good fortune. The Daruma-san of the game, however, seems not to take the same good luck as her namesake–and neither, if she catch you, will you.


As always, play at your own risk.


1 principal.


1 bathroom with a bathtub.

NOTE: A shower may NOT be substituted. You MUST use a bathtub.


The Prelude:

– Begin at night, just before you got to bed.
– Shed your clothing and enter the bathroom. Fill the bathtub with water and turn out the lights.
– Climb into the tub and sit down facing the faucet and taps. Close your eyes and begin washing your hair.
– As you wash your hair, repeat the words “Daruma-san fell down. Daruma-san fell down.” Do not stop repeating them until you have finished washing your hair. Do not open your eyes.
– If you have performed this action correctly, you will gain a mental image of a Japanese woman standing in a bathtub. She will slip and fall, landing face first on a rusty tap and gouging her right eye out.
– Should you hear any noise behind you or feel movement in the tub, do NOT turn around and do NOT open your eyes. Ask aloud, ‘Why did you fall in the bathtub?”
– Allow the question to hang in the air. Then, keeping your eyes shut, carefully stand up and get out of the tub. Do not trip and fall yourself, and do not drain the tub. Exit the bathroom, shutting the door behind you.
– You may now open your eyes. Leave the bathroom as you left it — water in the tub, door shut — until morning. Do not turn on any lights.
– Go to sleep.

The Main Event:

– Awaken at your usual time. The game begins the moment you open your eyes.
– Go about your day as normal. You will feel a constant presence behind you; it is likely that, should you turn to look, you will see nothing. However, glancing over your right shoulder may occasionally reveal a glimpse of her. Her hair will be black and tangled, and she will have only one eye.
– She will attempt to get closer and closer to you as the day goes on. Should you spot her and find that she is too close for comfort, shout “Tomare!” — that is, “Stop!” — and run away. The idea is to put some distance between you and her; do NOT allow her to catch you.

The Ending:

– Capture her in your gaze by looking over your right shoulder.
– Shout “Kitta!” — that is, “I cut you loose!” — while swinging your arm down in a chopping motion. If you have performed this action correctly, a winning condition will have been achieved and the game will be over.
– If you have NOT performed this action correctly… run.

Additional Notes:

She is fond of water and dark distances; as such, it is recommended that you avoid devoting yourself in or crossing running water, as well as traversing dark spaces, until the ending of the game. Utilize the “Tomare!” Command sparingly. Each time you use it, the amount of time for which it will stall her will soon diminish. Use it only when absolutely essential.

The end MUST be performed prior to midnight. Failing to do so will give her permission to get into your fantasies. Do NOT allow her to do this. Furthermore, performing the ending is not quite as simple as it seems. If she suspects you are just about to try to end the match, then she may hide. Now you MUST have her in your sights when you do the “Kitta!” command.

Concerning Second Attempts:

It is NOT recommended that you play this game more than once. In case you play it a second time, she’ll begin at precisely the exact same place she was at at the finish of the previous game. This will not provide sufficient distance to escape her.

Do NOT let her catch you.