When was pachinko, or the vertical pinball game, born in Japan?
The original form of pachinko is the Corinthian game introduced from the United States in the 1920s.
The game was modified into pachinko in 1925, and after World War II it instantly gained immense popularity by offering prizes.
In the course of development, the manually-operated system of striking balls was improved to electrically-powered svsterns, and now the ball distribution is controlled by computers.
Some of the reasons why pachinko has become so popular are that it has stimulated the taste for gambling characteristics with features such as slot machines, and also that there are underground organizations which provide services to exchange prizes for cash.
In 1995 the pachinko industry took in over 31 trillion yen, putting it ahead of even the automobile industry in terms of money spent.
Compared to this peak year, pachinko parlor income dropped to 29 trillion yen in 2002.
As competition for customers stiffens, some pachinko parlors in recent years have become quite fashionable in decor, and offer brand-name products as prizes and even free beverages to win customers.