From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kimodameshi (肝試し or きもだめし; lit. "guts test"),[1] known in English as a test of courage, is a Japanese activity in which people explore frightening and potentially dangerous places to build up courage.[2][3]

At night, usually during the summer, a group of people visits an ominous place such as a cemetery, haunted house, or secluded forest path to carry out specific missions there.[4][5][6][7] The exercise teaches the group that, working together, they can overcome their fear.[8]


In Ōkagami, a Japanese historical tale from the early 12th century, it is written that Emperor Kazan sent three of Fujiwara no Kaneie's sons to a house purportedly haunted by oni at 3 o'clock in the morning; only Fujiwara no Michinaga succeeded in visiting the house, returning with a sword-damaged wooden post as evidence. This suggests that the idea of a "test of courage" had existed near the end of Japan's Heian period.

Modern day[edit]

Kimodameshi may be overseen and carried out by school clubs or summer camps. In such instances, some preparation may be involved, and others may assume the role of scaring the participants.[citation needed]


Without proper consideration, kimodameshi can result in crimes being committed, such as trespassing (per Article 130 of the Penal Code of Japan), vandalism (Article 261), and intimidation or coercion of those unwilling to participate (Articles 222 and 223).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ogawa, Teizō (April 20, 1986). "History of Traditional Medicine: Proceedings of the 1st and 2nd International Symposia on the Comparative History of Medicine--East and West : 1st Symposium: October 22-28, 1976, 2nd Symposium: October 23-29, 1977, Susuno-shi, Shizuoka, Japan". Division of Medical History, the Taniguchi Foundation. Retrieved April 20, 2018 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ 肝試し - コトバンク
  3. ^ Martin, Samuel E. (February 12, 2013). Tuttle Compact Japanese Dictionary, 2nd Edition: Japanese-English English-Japanese. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 9781462910823. Retrieved April 20, 2018 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Kimodameshi: Putting a chill in the Japanese summer - Stripes Okinawa
  5. ^ Stevenson, John (April 20, 2018). Yoshitoshi's Strange Tales. Hotei Publishing. ISBN 9789074822718. Retrieved April 20, 2018 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ "Miyamoto And The Super Mario Kart Team On Drifting, Battle Mode And Creating Tension On The Track". June 29, 2016. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  7. ^ "The Children's Folklore Review". East Carolina University. April 20, 2018. Retrieved April 20, 2018 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ Hendry, Joy (October 1, 2000). The Orient strikes back: a global view of cultural display. Berg. ISBN 9781859733332. Retrieved April 20, 2018 – via Internet Archive. kimodameshi game.