Poker is a minority sport in Japan. Introduced as a spin off from US military personnel after World War II, the game has only ever enjoyed a marginal, fringe status. In contrast, traditional Japanese mind sports enjoy overwhelming popularity. For example, it is thought that the games of go and shogi are played seriously and competitively by up to one tenth of the entire population. There are, as a parallel to the professional poker circuit elsewhere in the world, full-time professionals (shinkenshi) making a good living as players of these games.
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