Japanese pinball. Players sit in front of the vertical machine and flip small metal balls, one at a time (but usually at great speed) into a dense field of pins. Always played in large, neon-lit casinos, usually in a fog of cigarette smog. The din of these places is overwhelming. For legal reasons, winners cannot receive cash directly. They get token prizes which they then trade in for cash at an outside business. The yakuza are deeply enmeshed in this system. it is also an open secret that many expatriate North Koreans skim the pachinko proceeds to send home to the fractured economy of North Korea.


the nails of fate

inside a pachinko machine