BOOK DETAILS

Kokology : The Game of Self-Discovery

Kokology : The Game of Self-Discovery

By  Tadahiko Nagao

Publisher  Touchstone

ISBN  9780684871486

Published in  Self-Help/Self-Esteem, Self-Help/Happiness, Religion & Spirituality/Occult

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Sample Chapter

A Word from Professor Saito

The eyes of the mind peer in two directions. One faces the outside world, gathering information about the environment and the people around us. The other is turned inward and looks at the hidden world of the inner self. This is the eye you use to survey the workings of your own mind, to ponder what others might be thinking, and to gaze into the future and foresee the kind of person you may one day become.

Many forms of media, such as books, newspapers, and television, have been developed to help people learn about and understand the outside world. It could be said that the media explosion of recent years has created a state of sensory and information overload, where every day we are faced with more data than we can possibly assimilate. But there are far fewer media to help us explore and understand the world within. Psychological games are one such medium, designed to help open the inner eye and sharpen its sight. The science of psychology itself allows people to study and comprehend the mind, but like any science, it demands time, hard work, and dedication to learn and uses a specialized vocabulary that keeps many nonspecialists at a distance. Kokology is a game based on the science of psychology, but with a fun and easy approach that makes it possible for everyone to experience and enjoy the world of the mind.

Kokology also works as a communications tool. For many people, the words psychological test evoke a dark or frightening image. I'm a psychologist myself, and even I don't like to take them. But psychological games make the same process of discovery interesting and fun, and people feel less threatened when they view the experience as just a form of play. In Kokology it's okay to disagree with the interpretation of a quiz answer if it sounds crazy or unbelievable -- that's part of the fun. But I think you'll find more often than not that you're surprised at how accurately the answers reflect people's true personalities, including your own. This makes the game a great way to bridge communication gaps between friends and lovers, to bring you closer together and help you understand each other better, to open up conversations on what might otherwise be difficult, sensitive, or forbidden subjects.

I have tried to make Kokology as entertaining as possible, while keeping true to the principles of psychological science. I hope you enjoy the time you spend playing and that you feel you've learned something about yourself and others in your life when you're done.

Isamu Saito

Professor, Rissho University

Compilation and English translation copyright © 2000 by I.V.S. Television Co., Ltd., and Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation

Playing the Game

When we set out to develop Kokology, our first and foremost goal was to make it fun. After all, who in their right mind would want to play a game that isn't? The basic concept was already there -- our plan was to create a game where people would imagine themselves in everyday situations and unusual scenarios and respond to simple questions. The answers are interpreted from a psychological perspective and tell us something about the way that person's mind works. It's kind of like a Rorschach test that uses words instead of inkblots.

The concept was the easy part. The hard part was keeping the balance between science and fun. Professor Saito can vouch for the science; only you can be the judge of whether we've succeeded on the fun side. I'm not a psychologist myself, but I do understand enough about human nature to know that people don't like long introductions -- especially not to a book of games. So I'm going to end by leaving you with a list of eight tips for making your experience with Kokology satisfying, enlightening, and fun.

Enjoy!

-- Tadahiko Nagao

Compilation and English translation copyright © 2000 by I.V.S. Television Co., Ltd., and Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation

Eight Tips for Playing Kokology

1. Say the first thing that pops into your head.

The games work best when you don't hesitate or agonize over your choice of words. There are no right or wrong answers, so just relax and say whatever springs to mind.

2. Play with other people if you can.

Kokology can be read alone like any other book, but it's most enjoyable, exciting, and entertaining when you play with a partner or in a group. It's a chance to have a few laughs and get to know each other better. You may find that you have more in common than you ever suspected. On the other hand, you may find you're so incompatible that it's as though you're from different planets. There's only one way to find out for sure.

3. Don't try to predict the answers.

It's natural to want to try to outsmart the quizzes or guess what their hidden meanings may be. But what are you going to learn from that?

4. Be honest with yourself.

Kokology may be only a game, but like any good game, it can teach you something about yourself if you let it. Don't be afraid to accept the truth when a minor fault or shortcoming of yours is exposed. I can sense that you're basically a good, intelligent, and likable person. You bought this book, didn't you?

5. Be prepared.

Some of the quizzes will ask you to write something down or draw a picture, so it's a good idea to have a pen or pencil and some paper handy before you start. Advanced-level Kokologists might want to try videotaping a round of games at the next office party. The expressions on people's faces when their true characters are revealed can be priceless. And the secrets they unwittingly blurt out might be worth good money, too.

6. Don't read ahead.

This goes along with the advice of not trying to guess the answers, but it's directed at the group that likes to read the last page of a mystery novel first. Why not open yourself up to a few surprises? Is it really so satisfying to be able to say, "Oh, I knew it all along"?

7. Watch people's reactions (including your own).

The interpretations to the scenarios given in this book are only a starting point for learning more about yourself and others. Sometimes it's more instructive (and entertaining) to see how someone reacts to an answer that's a bit off target than it is to read an interpretation that's right on the money.

8. Keep an open mind.

In Kokology, as in life, it's important to keep things in perspective. There are no correct answers and more than one way of reading any situation. If you're playing with friends, take the opportunity to learn from and about them. What fun would the world be if we all thought alike? Variety is the spice of life.

Compilation and English translation copyright © 2000 by I.V.S. Television Co., Ltd., and Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation

The Blue Bird

One day a blue bird suddenly flies through a window into your room and is trapped. Something about this lost bird attracts you, and you decide to keep it. But to your surprise, the next day the bird has changed color from blue to yellow! This very special bird changes color again overnight -- on the morning of the third day it is bright red, and on the fourth it turns completely black. What color is the bird when you wake up on the fifth day?

1. The bird doesn't change color; it stays black.

2. The bird turns back to its original blue.

3. The bird turns white.

4. The bird turns golden colored.

Key to The Blue Bird

The bird that flew into your room seemed like a symbol of good fortune, but suddenly it changed color, making you worry that happiness would not last. Your reaction to this situation shows how you respond to difficulties and uncertainty in real life.

1. Those who said the bird stays black have a pessimistic outlook.

Do you tend to believe that once a situation goes bad, it never really returns to normal? Maybe you need to try thinking, If this is as bad as it gets, it can't get any worse. Remember, there's no rain that doesn't end and no night so dark that there's no dawn the next day.

2. Those who said the bird turns blue again are practical optimists.

You believe that life is a mix of good and bad and that it doesn't pay to fight against that reality. You accept adversity calmly and let things run their course without undue stress or worry. This outlook lets you ride out the waves of adversity without being swept away.

3. Those who said the bird turns white are cool and decisive under pressure.

You don't waste time on fretting and indecision, even when a crisis develops. If a situation gets too bad, you feel it's better to cut your losses and look for another route to your goal rather than getting bogged down in needless grief. This proactive approach means that things seem to just naturally go your way.

4. Those who said the bird turns golden can be described as fearless.

You don't know the meaning of pressure. To you, every crisis is an opportunity. You might be compared with Napoleon, who said, "...impossible: the word is not French." But be careful not to let your boundless confidence get the best of you. It's a very fine line between fearless and foolhardy.

Compilation and English translation copyright © 2000 by I.V.S. Television Co., Ltd., and Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation

A Night at the Symphony

There's something magical about a night at the symphony -- a sense of expectation and pure pleasure. Imagine being able to take a place on that stage among the other musicians, a once-in-a-lifetime chance to perform at your very best.

If you could join the orchestra, what instrument do you see yourself playing?

1. Violin

2. String bass

3. Trumpet

4. Flute

Key to A Night at the Symphony

Musical instruments are symbolic of members of the opposite sex. The pairing of you and your instrument shows how you perceive yourself in making the music of love. The instrument you chose gives insight into what you think of as your strongest lovemaking technique.

1. Violin

The violin demands sensitive fingerwork and a delicate touch with the bow to draw forth music from the taut strings. You see yourself as having the same awareness and skill in locating and playing upon your partners' most sensitive points. There's a sense of adventure in the way your hands can create such beautiful music by running over the same familiar notes.

2. String bass

There's a feeling of power gotten from taking position behind an enormous bass and making it call out in a tremendous moan. In love, your skill rests in the ability to bend your partners to your will, taking complete control, and driving them onward to pleasures they never imagined they could experience. You never ask permission, but that dominating character is what makes you so irresistible.

3. Trumpet

There's no getting around it -- your mouth is the strongest weapon in your arsenal. Whether it's whispering love talk in your partner's ear or exploring them with your lips, you have all the characteristics of the oral personality.

4. Flute

The flute demands incredible patience from those who want to master it. You show that same patience in the way you wear down partners with your persistence, determination, and stamina. Your lovers are often taken off guard when what they thought would be a brief recital quickly develops into a full concerto in six movements.

Compilation and English translation copyright © 2000 by I.V.S. Television Co., Ltd., and Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation

Written in the Stars

When you look up into a star-filled sky at night, sometimes it's possible to lose yourself in the infinite depths of space. We may be aware of their vast distances from earth, yet the stars still look like friendly messengers and granters of dreams when we see them twinkling in the dark. As the hours grow late, it's a comfort to look up and have their distant power to draw upon.

For this next game, you'll need paper and a pencil.

1. First, draw three stars of different sizes.

2. Next, draw a comet's tail on one (and only one) of your stars.

Key to Written in the Stars

The stars combine a glittering image of the power to grant wishes and make dreams come true with a sense of distance and unattainability. Stars determine our present and give a hint of things to come. Your drawing illuminates your work life in general and your current career path in particular.

1. The largest star you drew represents the job you hold now, its potential and its disappointments. If the difference in size between that star and the other two is not very great, it signifies dissatisfaction or at least disinterest in your career, a willingness to shop around and keep your options open. Watch for an unexpected call from a headhunter. They have ways of finding these things out.

On the other hand, if your job star is much larger than the others, it indicates you're deeply absorbed and committed to your current path. Your concern should be not to fall into the trap of workaholism. All work and no play is no way to live.

2. In cultures throughout history and around the world, comets have been seen as harbingers of disaster and cataclysmic change. The star you gave a comet's tail to represents trouble looming on the horizon. If it's on one of the smaller stars, you're in luck; the heavens have overlooked you for now. But if your largest star is a comet, it might be a good time for you to bring your résumé up-to-date. The stars never lie.

Compilation and English translation copyright © 2000 by I.V.S. Television Co., Ltd., and Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation

(Continues...)

Excerpted from "Kokology : The Game of Self-Discovery" by Tadahiko Nagao. Copyright © 2000 by Tadahiko Nagao. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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