Want to Play? Kokology, a Game for Self-Discovery


Kokology is the study of kokoro (“mind” or “spirit” in Japanese). It is a game of self-discovery that was designed by Isamu Saito. We are about to play it!

Directions: read the exercise below and leave a comment with your own response to what follows in the story.  Once I have 3 comments/responses (or until I get back to my computer)—I will post the responses/meanings to the kokology game in my comments section.

The Game Begins:   Welcome to My Parlor

In the human unconscious, spiders hold a place of fear and respect that’s entirely out of proportion to their tiny size. Perhaps it’s their skill in hunting, their patience when lying in wait, or their ability to weave devious webs to trap their prey. Whatever the reason, spiders evoke a strong mixture of feelings in us all.

Imagine you are a spider, sitting at the center of a large web you have spun.

You will need a pencil and paper for this one—to record your answer (or you can describe with words what you pictured in the comments section).

1). Draw a picture of your web and the number and types of insects you have trapped in it.

2). You move to make a meal of one of your pray, but somehow it frees itself from the web and escapes. As it hurries out of reach, the lucky bug says something to you. What are its parting words?


****************************************KEY************************************Kokology’s Key to “Welcome to My Parlor: The spider is one of the great hunters of the natural world. Your impressions of life as a spider show us something about how you see your experience as a hunter in the wilds of love. 1.) The number and types of bugs you drew corresponds to your own love conquests. The web represents your strategies and techniques for luring others into your clutches, while the types of bugs you caught reflect your opinion of your former lovers. Was it a single common housefly? A lovely butterfly that only leaves you hungry afterward? Perhaps a fat, juicy caterpillar? Or maybe an unappetizing mass of mosquitoes, roaches, and worms wriggling as they await your approach? Some spiders will eat anything. 2). The parting words of the bug that got away are your memories of rejection in a failed conquest. Let’s face it, we’ve all been shot down at one time or another–this game shows the words that hit closest to home. “You’ll never catch me, you ugly old spider!” Ouch. “Better luck next time!” Well, thanks for the encouragement, anyway. “Hooray! I’m free, I’m free!” Okay, you’re free. But you don’t have to be quite so happy about it, do you?”