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Channel Your Rage the Healthy Way at Japan's Annual Table-Flipping Contest

Have you ever been so emotional, you felt like flipping a table fully laden with dinner, sending a clamor of glasses, plates and food careening across the room?

An annual competition in Japan lets contestants live out this ragequit fantasy. On June 16, a shopping mall in Yahaba, Iwate Prefecture hosted the 12th World Chabudai-Gaeshi Tournament. After an elderly woman taps each contest on the shoulder with the command to “stop,” the individuals shout out a phrase of anger, frustration, passion, or hope, and flip a traditional tea table. Scores are given based on the distance a single plastic fish from its surface flies, as well as overall style.

The competition is envisioned as a fun way to relieve stress as well as verbalize hopes and aspirations. Recent participants have been heard yelling things like: “What’s wrong with me?!”, “I want a job offer” and “I deserve a raise.” The winner this year was Shinya Chiba, a member of the of the Iwate Big Bulls basketball team. He sent his fish 8.29 meters (27.2 feet) while yelling, “Go Big Bulls!”

Video of last year's event via Kyodo News.

The game relates to a common Japanese phrase “chabudai gaeshi" which means "upending the tea table." It’s akin to being so mad one could “punch a hole in a wall,” and has recently been associated with famed video game designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, who routinely scraps entire projects well into their development.

For those that were unable to attend the event, they can still experience the zen of table upending thanks to a video game. In Tokyo, Taito released Cho Chabudai Gaeshi! (Super Table-Flip!). For JPY100 (US$0.91), players can flip tables in the context of their homes, a wedding party, a host club or an office. 


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