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They likely were just secokhd that a teacher suggested it. Textbooks give a rather sanitized selection of games. Also if most students were girls, they might have been secokhd because girls' games are less violent in Japan as in most cultures. Traditional Japanese boys' games can be just as violent. I see my son and his friends playing "Ninja" and "Samurai" in exactly the same way we played "Cowboys and Indians". It's a boy thing, the world over.I find the reflexive "Oh, my own culture is so violent and bad, compared to the peaceful Japanese" to be off-putting, and unfortunately common in just-graduated Americans. It seems they feel a need to show how "international" they are by denigrating the culture that produced them, usually by overstating the bad and ignoring the good. As an expat Brit, I have found the US to be on-average, a safer and kinder place than my native London. I'm glad you recognized a need to learn more before making a final judgment. Japanese culture in recent history has been quite hierarchical and averse to personal expression. The post-war years are an anomaly in a very violent history.

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