Pachinko-byo is an ailment new to the annals of medicine and peculiar to Japan. Its symptoms: blistered fingers, a sprained thumb and eyeballs that jiggle in their sockets like popcorn kernels tossed on to a hot griddle.
The cause of pachinko-byo is pachinko, a sort of poor man's pinball game. It has swept Japan like a virus in the last three years and brought the neon pallor of the penny arcade to the land of the rising sun.
The pachinko machine (cost: $20) stands upright to save space. From the owner the player buys...