Goroawase 語呂合わせ

Yesterday, at work, I was talking with one of the project managers about the Konami Code. We have Flex Spy setup in our Flex App, but we only want Users logged into the omni-user account to use it, and even then, we don't want it displayed at inappropriate times. Why not implement the Konami Code? When an omni-user keys in the code while using our app, it'll appear!

I think everyone in my age group knows what the Konami Code is, but might not necessarily know it by name. This code showed up in almost all of Konami's arcade style games starting with the NES in the late 80s up through today. The Konami Code is as follows...

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Select, Start.

I sent the project manager a link to the Wikipedia Page. After glancing over the article real quick, I noticed a little piece of information that solved a mystery that sat around in my head for years and years.

In Mobile phone games by Konami, B A are substituted with 5 7 3 on the numerical pad, which is the goroawase pronunciation for "konami."

573! I have seen that number all over the place in Konami games. I first noticed this when I saw that every single Konami Arcade game has a default high score of 57300. I had no idea why that was significant, but it was consistent.


Goroawase uses the native Japanese reading (kun'yomi), the Japanese approximation of Chinese reading (on'yomi), and the English reading to describe a word in the form of a number. The Wiki page has a wonderful chart showing each reading for each number.

The normal reading of 573 in Japanese is "go-shichi-san". For 7 and 3, we want to use the native Japanese pronunciation, so it would be "go-nana-mitsu". If we use the base kana for "go", and just the first syllables of 7 and 3, we get "ko-na-mi".

This is used in various places throughout gaming. In Dance Dance Revolution, there's a Song called ".59". In Japanese, the period is pronounced 'ten'. So with that, the reading would be "Ten-go-ku", which translates as "Heaven" in English. You might also know Japanese Video Game Designer, Suda Goichi, who writes his name Suda 51. His name gets mispronounced all the time in the states as Suda Fifty-One.

The Wiki Article has a couple more examples that are interesting ^_^