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Conkers – どんぐり


Although Autumn in the UK can seem very short compared to the slow change of the trees in Japan, when UKPLUS was a little boy back in the UK, it was an exciting time. Going back to school after the long summer holiday was always a time of mixed emotions. A little bit sad that summer was over, but happy to see your school friends again. But the initial nerves of going back to school would soon be replaced by the joy of break time and in early Autumn school break time meant three things: football, football card swapping and conkers.

During autumn in Japan, young kids can be found in parks and forests all around the country looking for どんぐり(acorns) or trying not step on くり (chestnuts). British Conkers are similar to these – they are the fruit of the wonderful horse-chestnut tree. And we kids used to collect hundreds of them for the great game of conkers

You make a hole in the middle of the horse-chestnut, thread a string through and then take it in turns to hit your opponent’s conker until one breaks. The idea is to find the conker that beats all other conkers. Some people believe that soaking your conkers in vinegar will make them stronger, but this trick never worked for UKPLUS. But we have very happy memories of collecting conkers with our Dad and of the conker fights in the school yard.

Did you use to collect どんぐり? Why? What did you do with them? Which of the four seasons do enjoy most? Send us your thoughts!