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Xs and Os

Os and Xs have a special meaning in Japan. The circle's symbolic meaning covers such things as: correct, passing, winning, and OK. The X's symbolic meaning has a less positive use. The X is used to express defeat, failure, mistakes, and rejection. The use of the Os and Xs is not merely limited to physical gestures, one can also find them in writing. An example of this would be a true false test where O=true and X=false.

When one forms the circle, one uses both the thumb and forefinger, or on can raise one's arms above one's head so that one's fingers are touching. The X is formed by crossing forefingers, or by making an X with one's arms. Sometimes when someone makes the X signal it is followed by the word "dame," which means bad, or no good.

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