Kotobuki Drinking Game

Kotobuki Drinking Game -

The Kotobuki Drinking Game is a simple Japanese drinking game involving three distinctly shaped cups and a four sided top. While easy to understand and play be warned that you will probably have to substitute most of the pieces for this game as they are very unique.


Three Kotobuki shot glasses. These are very specific and each represent a character. The three cups are roughly 0.75 ounces, 1.5 ounces, and 3 ounces. Any set of similarly sized shot glasses will do assuming you don’t own a Kotobuki set. One top with the four signs of the game on it, one on each side. the four signs being Okame, Hyottoko, Tengu, and Uta. A dice will function similarly as well.


Players will take turns spinning the top. Whichever sign the top lands on is the cup that you must pout sake into, whichever player the top handle is pointing at is the player who must drink from that cup.


Kotobuki Drinking Game Rules

Okame is the smallest cup and is known as the goddess of mirth. Hyottoko is the medium sized cup and traditionally has a hole in it so whoever drinks from it must cover the hole before drinking. Hyottoko is a comical Japanese caricature. Tengu is the largest of the cups and is a common Japanese mythological creature. When it lands on Uta nobody has to drink but the commonly used rule states that the current player must instead sing a song of their choosing.

Aside from the Okame cup players cannot pass the turn until the drink for the turn has been finished. This means if you’re stuck with Hyottoko or Tengu you must immediately finish it without putting it down. Okame can be had at it’s drinkers leisure.

Most people will not own a set of this game but the pieces are easy to substitute. Any dice can replace the top and the three cups can be easily measured out into regular shot glasses or cups.

If having to drink the large Tengu or the Hyottoko cup each time it is rolled becomes too much of a hassle players can slowly fill up the cups and only the player who has to drink when the cup is full must down it.

The kotobuki drinking game set can be fairly difficult to get your hands on outside of Japan but using a traditional Japanese sake set should do just fine.