I mentioned this before, but I'm kind of a 器用貧乏: I have a lot of hobbies and a lot of interests, and a good portion of them are things that I think would impress people in bars. Maybe I watched the wrong kinds of movies as a kid, but I always thought it would be awesome to be a card shark, a pool shark, a legendary drinker, and a motorcycle riding cowboy who knew how to make a quarter land dead center in your shot of tequila every time... or to make it vanish into thin air.
So I practice these kinds of silly things. I have decks upon decks of playing cards, my own set of poker chips, a pool cue, a picture of the motorcycle I sold before coming to Japan, and of course, because no bar-sports-master is complete with out them, my own set of darts.
But, just as I mentioned in the 器用貧乏 post, there's nothing more humbling for a dabbler like me than to bump into someone who's actually good. Which brings me to today's yoji, and Japanese darts culture.
The kanji mean, one hundred shots, one hundred centers. Think "Bullseye," and you've got it.
1: Nothing but bullseyes.
2: Absolute success.
3: 100% accuracy
With darts bars scattered throughout any major city, a league and tournaments, it was only a matter of time before I told the wrong person that I played... and got soundly humiliated. This guy, Masahiro, was one of the people who picked me up on my last hitchhiking adventure, and when we stopped off at a bar to play a few games, I think he went easy on me at first. By the second game, it was 百発百中 for him, and it was all over for me.
While the definition notes that it can be used as a metaphor to mean that everything is going perfectly according to plan, it is often used literally in reference to kyudo or darts. And there is a pretty active darts culture in Japan.
But don't let the presence of sharks out there in the waters deter you from swimming. Japanese darts bars can be a lot of fun, especially the ones that feature the electronic boards. I highly recommend the unorthodox set of games, like the manhunt one: at each turn, the dart board will tell which targets will count as taking a shot at your opponent (hit a double twenty and you throw a grenade; hit a fourteen and you reload your gun, etc.). They're a lot of fun.
I can't call it an absolute success yet, but so far things have gone just as I expected. Let's hope it continues to be smooth sailing from here on out.
* Question for you: I've heard that the するといい pattern implies doubt on the part of the speaker. Like, できるといいな, means "It would be nice if I could do it, but..." What do you think?