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The Thing That Goes "Doink"

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"Gotta love the rhythmic tapping these babies put out. The weight of the water inside makes 'em move like a see-saw. Mankind sure is incredible, huh? They made this thing with the sole purpose of making soothing sounds."
Issun, Ōkami

To establish that a Big Fancy House belongs to a family that is both traditionally Japanese and exceedingly wealthy, one can show many aspects of the home that seem extravagant. There's the big yard, the high fence, the sheer size of it. But for something that just screams "Rich Japanese Family" you need the Thing That Goes "Doink".

This is a traditional water feature that is found in the yards of Japanese homes, properly called a sōzu, a type of shishi-odoshi ("deer scare"/"deer-chaser"). It has a bamboo cup on a fulcrum that slowly fills with falling water. When it fills, it tips over and empties; when it flips back upright, its hollow back end hits a stone underneath it and makes a distinctive hollow-log "doink" sound. With a simple two-second shot of this device doing its thing, it is established without a doubt that this Big Fancy House is a place of wealthnote  and tradition.note 


If the doinker happens to be in a Western home, you can bet that they're a New-Age Retro Hippie or at the very least an extremely wealthy non-Asian person who recently converted to Zen Buddhism and insists that it "balances the home's chi" or whatever.note 

Don't confuse the sound of the Thing That Goes "Doink" with that of the tsuzumi, a drumlike instrument used in Kabuki theatre which can be heard in a number of anime. The two sound very alike, but the shishi-odoshi is usually shown when it makes its noise.

Also, don't confuse it with anything going Boink, any machine that goes "ping!", the machine that goes "ding!", or Things That Go "Bump" in the Night. Nor with that clown from the WWE. Also not to be confused with narrowly missed field goals in American Football.


The Thing That Goes "Doink" is often used in the Aspect Montage.

In addition to indicating a moneyed and traditional household, The Thing That Goes Doink is sometimes used to signal an imminent Hot Springs Episode — a proper Japanese onsen will often sell itself on a "traditional" image, and a shishi-odoshi is part of that, especially what with water logically being rather available at a hot spring. It can also be used during a scene set in such a place to punctuate a dramatic or comedic event that has just occurred, much the way a Rimshot punctuates a joke.

Thanks to the Internet, you do not have to be rich or Asian to enjoy the sound of these. Hear it here for three hours.

See also Executive Ball Clicker.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Butler: one shows up in the first episode, when they enter the Japanese garden. This is justified as the rock garden was a quick fix to replace the ruined garden from before.
  • When Alto from Macross Frontier visits home for the first time in a while, a thing that goes doink is heard in the background, and it's actually shown on-screen during a later visit.
  • Suruga from Bakemonogatari owns one at her home.
  • The Mendou family from Urusei Yatsura are quite possibly the richest people in the world, and they prove this by having multiple shishi-odoshi around various parts of their town-sized palace-and-villa-filled fortress. When Kuruma is training Ataru in episode 9, a drunk Tengu lies passed out underneath one, getting repeatedly doinked in the head by it as punishment for deciding while drunk to have the two train together.
  • Tenchi Muyo!: one is outside the shrine.
  • Sakura's family estate in Sendai, in Sakura Wars. During the first episode of the first OVA series, the sound of the shishi-odoshi is used to punctuate the passing of time as the young Sakura struggles to learn the secrets of her family's style of kendo.
  • Kekkaishi has several. Both Tokine's and Yoshimori's houses have one, as does Urakai headquarters.
  • Honoka's home in Futari wa Pretty Cure.
  • Best Student Council, unusually, has one in the school's women's bathing room. Said school is also very large and very rich.
  • Miki's house in Cheeky Angel.
  • In the second episode of Saber Marionette J To X one is shown outside a meeting at which Otaru and several townspeople debate whether to hold an upcoming festival in the traditional fashion or add new elements from other countries.
  • When the members of the Six Houses of Kyoto meet in Code Geass, one is visible nearby.
  • One is prominently displayed in the courtyard of the Aoiya in Rurouni Kenshin.
  • There is one in the third episode of Ouran High School Host Club, and another at the Haninozuka residence in a flashback in episode 18.
  • Soun has one in Ranma ½. It's not used to show opulence, but more that Soun has a rather traditional house/dojo set up. It was sometimes used to show time had passed. The sight gag of it 'doinking' being used to show time had passed was used in the anime, even when the action was at the Tendos. The Kuno mansion has at least one of them, if not several. Sasuke Sarugakure has to drink from them. The Daimonji school of Martial Arts Tea Ceremony also has one in the anime.
  • In episode 34 of Get Backers the owner of a hugh diamond connection has his estate using electrified barbed wire, security cameras, and "Doink".
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Captain Lindy has one... on a spaceship. All part of her Japanophile collection.
  • Both Tezuka and Echizen's homes in The Prince of Tennis have them.
  • In Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple there is one at Ryōzanpaku and often is a focal point or the only thing heard.
  • There's one made of metal on a desert planet in Birth.
  • Naruto.
    • Every episode involving a flashback from Sasuke, or the Hyuga household.
    • In "Shippuden", there's one at the Nara household, as well. Which is confusing since the family that breeds deer has a device that scares deer away.
    • Not to mention almost half of the filler stories.
  • Bleach.
    • Anime episodes involving the Kuchiki house tend to include a water feature to emphasise how ridiculously wealthy Byakuya is.
    • Kirinji's healing pool includes a water feature so ridiculously large and convoluted, it effectively creates a waterfall into the pool. The noise it makes is ridiculously loud, as a very annoyed Ichigo discovers.
  • There is one in the palace garden in Samurai Pizza Cats. It provides with atmosphere when Speedy Service faces off against a Copy Cat robot.
  • Touya Akira's large, traditional house in Hikaru no Go, usually heard (and sometimes seen) when Touya's large, traditional father is given screentime. The sound of water pouring from the thing, followed by the doink, nicely resembles the rustle of a hand in a bowl of Go stones, followed by the 'pok' of a stone hitting the board.
  • One can be found in the hot springs at the Hinata Inn in Love Hina.
  • Project A-Ko has one of these inside the cabin of the "Max 5000" mecha. (It's only shown very briefly, though.)
  • In Magic Knight Rayearth Hikaru Shidou's house has one.
  • Jyabura's garden has one in One Piece. Note that it's inside a building on a small rocky island. There is also one on Mariejois.
  • In Higurashi: When They Cry there's one on the grounds of the Sonozaki estate.
  • Maison Ikkoku: The very aristocratic family of Kujo Asuna have one, naturally.
  • Case Closed: Whenever Kogoro, Ran, and Conan visit the house of a rich client, this is the first thing you see.
  • One of these show up in at least one of the later episodes of YuYu Hakusho at Genkai's house-temple-thing. It's probably to show wealth, as her property is revealed in the last episode to be immense.
    • Yomi also has one of those at the house where he meets with Yusuke.
  • Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu shows one quite prominently at the Yakuza home of Mikihara.
  • Nozomu Itoshiki of Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei turns out to be from a traditional and wealthy family, complete with their own doinker.
  • Used immediately to show the wealth of the Shishidou household in The Girl Who Leapt Through Space. And we do mean "immediately" - it's the very first shot in the anime.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Jotaro Kujo and his mother, Holly, have one of these in their house. It's used a couple of times near the beginning, then never seen again.
  • The powerful Kannagi family in Kaze no Stigma have one.
  • There's one in Shugo Chara! when Amu goes to Tadase's house.
  • There's one in the second OVA outside of Kikuchi's house in Haru wo Daiteita.
  • In Earth Maiden Arjuna, one proves rather annoying as you keep hearing the doink over a conversation.
  • The Takagi estate in High School Of The Dead has one.
  • Fruits Basket has the doinky doink thing in the Souma family complex, complete with pretty gardens and paper screen doors. A little bit ironic, considering the whole place reeks of Dysfunction Junction.
  • One exists by the Tennouz mansion in Speed Grapher. Since the entire estate is on top of the highest skyscraper around, it can't be for scaring off deer; it's just the icing on the Big Fancy House cake.
  • Excalibur seems to have one in Soul Eater at one point. Then again, he isn't the most reliable of sources.
  • In episode 13 of Gintama, The Thing That Goes Doink shows up around Hamiko's mansion.
  • In Kyō Kara Ore Wa!! Riko's house has one as show of wealth (the role gets even lampshaded by a visitor). Mitsuhashi has the habit to trick people into getting doinked in the head, but failed with the son of the above-mentioned visitor... Who got doinked in the chin as he bragged that nobody would fall for that.
  • One shows up in the 13th episode of Shiki. It doinks away in the background of an scene with very little dialogue, making the whole thing seem rather awkward.
  • In Magic of Stella, Tamaki's house has one of these. Ayame and Kayo learn the hard way that they should never give the impression that they're messing with it.
  • Lupin III: Goemon Ishikawa's Spray of Blood: There is one at the scene where the powerful and rich Inaniwa clan confronts Goemon; the samurai warns them if they attempt to move against him, he will kill them all. They foolishly charge as the shishi-odoshi empties and sounds. By the time it fills from the rain and empties to sound again, Goemon has disarmed or killed the entire gang, save the leader's son.
  • In Blend-S, a shishi-odoshi is frequently seen and heard at Maika's home, to let you know that she was brought up in a traditional Japanese home with some serious cash.
  • In the old Yatterman series, a set of shishi-odoshi is used not as a sign of wealth, but as Dokurobei's latest mean to punish the Dorombo Gang, beating them over the head with a metal fist attached to the bamboo stick.
  • In the anime for Jōjū Senjin!! Mushibugyō, the character Tenma comes from a traditional home and has a doinker in his flashback of when he received the paper dolls that he fights with.
  • Zombie Land Saga shows a shishi-odoshi as Yugiri, who lived in the Meiji Restoration period, invokes a more historic feel while talking to Kotaro.
  • In the anime for That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, Rimuru's hot spring bathhouse features a shishi-odoshi for that touch of traditional Japan.
  • Chise builds one in episode 11 of Princess Principal, noting that it doesn't sound right because she had to build it out of metal rather than bamboo. When asked by Charlotte what the actual purpose of the device is, though, she admits that she has no idea.
  • In Demon Lord, Retry!, Kunai builds a hot spring resort in Rabby Village, which includes one of these.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • It makes an appearance in the snowy courtyard of the House of Blue Leaves, the site of the Bride's final duel with O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill Volume 1. The combatants stand still and quiet for several seconds a few times during the confrontation, allowing the water and classic doink sound to set the scene.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Mozzie's safehouse-cum-Zen Garden in White Collar is complete with a Thing That Goes Doink (it's in a loft with a great view of Manhattan). It won't be operational for some time, since circumstances required Mozzie bring Peter and another FBI Agent to the safehouse.
  • In Game Center CX, the side-segment "To Catch a Catch Copy" uses footage of a Thing That Goes Doink to signify the next round.
  • There are a couple of these in Magnum, P.I., appropriately enough since there are a lot of Japanese people in Hawaii. They are found as part of museum grounds or parks, as well as private homes. The scene where Magnum visits always begins with a closeup of the thing running water and going doink.

    Video Games 
  • In Animal Crossing, you can get a "deer scare" as a piece of furniture. It makes the little doink sound, and is seen in a few different layouts in the residents' houses. Goes with the stone lanterns and mossy rocks of the "Zen Garden" ensemble. In New Horizons, the deer scare is a craftable item (the recipe handed out occasionally by cranky villagers—yes, that means that if Bruce is in your village, you can get a deer scare recipe from a deer villager) and can be placed outside.
  • One of the tasks in CrossCode involves watching one of these for a period of time and then telling how many times it has struck the stone. Throughout the tasks your party members will miscount (or Sergey will mess up programing a counter), Moon Beetles will hit the bamboos on the cliff, pandas will roam in front of it, and the thing will even fake-out a few times.
  • One can be purchased or built for the garden of a player's home in Final Fantasy XIV.
  • In Goemon's Great Adventure for the N64, there was one area (Frog Mountain) that used a giant one of these as the fork in the road (one route behind it, one route above it doubling back) — however, you wouldn't know it unless you bothered to go all the way to the end of the giant thing, which conveniently enough went off-screen.
  • When Baiken uses her Instant Kill in the Guilty Gear video game series, the scene abruptly changes to show her and her opponent's silhouettes through the wall of a traditional-style house, with The Thing That Goes Doink in the near foreground. When it goes doink, the opponent dies.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic III features one of these as a special building for the Rampart faction, which gives +2 Luck to your defending hero during a siege. It ties in with the town's vague Wutai aesthetic.
  • A modest-sized one can be found and rolled up in the Katamari Damacy game.
  • The King of Fighters KYO manga reveals that the Kusanagi family lives in a Japanese Big Fancy House, and they have one of these in the garden. Also, there's one of these in the background of Jubei Yamada's stage in Fatal Fury Special.
  • Kingdom of Loathing mentions a Thing in a fight with Yakisoba, one of the monsters in the Pastamancer's quest to kill their Nemesis.
  • In Haruka Utsunomiya's route of My Forged Wedding, the protagonist notices the sound of a shishi-odoshi when she first arrives at the Utsunomiya estate and marvels at how big, fancy, and traditional the place is.
  • Ōkami:
    • Things That Go Doink are used as levers and platforms to solve puzzles at various times in Ōkami, to make use of the Water Spout power. The catch: you're two inches tall, and the things that go doink are now bridges.
    • Genuinely enormous ones also appear in several other areas of the game, serving as switches to open doors (though in their case, it's more of a BOOM than a doink).
    • In the English version (at least), Issun doesn't know what to call them, either (he eventually settles on "plonks"). He clearly likes them though, as evidenced by the page quote.
  • Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius has a giant one of these as an obstacle. As befitting Parodius, it uses penguins instead of water.
  • Pokémon
    • Stantler's Japanese name is Odoshishi, which is derived from shishi-odoshi. Rather then being scared off, the deer does the scaring, and its appearance (its antlers are shaped to look like huge glaring eyes) and the moves it learns shows.
    • In Pokémon Conquest, the battlefield at Chrysalia Castle has two, one around where each army begins. They seem to serve a role in Pokémari, the ball game that Chrysalian Warlord Yoshimoto plays; at the start of a turn, if there are less than four Pokémari balls on the field, a new one will drop somewhere on the battlefield. Hit one to send it bouncing For Massive Damage.
  • The Clash of Clans clone Samurai Siege features these on their Essence Wells until they're upgraded to level 5.
  • The Nancy Drew game Shadow At The Water's Edge features this as part of the ryokan's garden. An important clue is hidden in one of the bamboo shoots.
  • There is one (non-functional, sadly) attached to the 'Serenity Squared' fountain that comes in The Sims 2: Bon Voyage.
  • The PS2 music/rhythm game Unison has its lead female characters dancing to a traditional Japanese enka song called "Yosaku". The establishing shot of the performance hall shows one of these underneath a statue of an Eastern dragon.
  • Warframe clans can decorate their dojo with one of these, called a Shakan Fountain. Sadly, only the water moves so it doesn't make the noise and the hinged part is locked in the downward drain position. Hopefully this will change in the future.
  • Filling one of these things up with water is the subject of one of Orbulon's microgames in WarioWare: Get It Together!.
  • Xenosaga Episode 2 has one of these at the Uzuki residence on Second Miltia; it even moves and goes doink.

    Western Animation 
  • In Spongebob Squarepants episode Squirrel Jelly, after Sandy goes a little nuts with catching jellyfish (to the point that the Jellyfish Fields are destroyed by fire), she retires to her tree dome to meditate and relax in her Japanese garden, complete with doinker. It then gets blown up by a giant composite jellyfish.

    Real Life 
  • Aside from homes, these are often found in Japanese Gardens open to the public. For instance, this one has both a Thing That Goes Doink and a sukiya-style guest house where the Tea Ceremony is occasionally performed.
  • A figure of the Polynesian god Maui accompanied by an automated thing that goes *doink* can be found in the courtyard of The Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland that tells when the next "show" will be.
  • A building with a few of these is visible from the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. They don't go "doink", though, as they're suspended up at the top of the wall. For working examples in Portland, check the Japanese Garden.
  • City Museum, a sort of found-art-collective project inside a refitted shoe factory in St. Louis, has a thing that goes *doink* in its crawl-through aquatic-themed zone. It's not made of bamboo, though: it's a weathered sheet steel tubular monster of some sort so when it overfills and tips over it looks like a gargoyle purging after a bender. Makes a very satisfying (and *loud*) doink.

Alternative Title(s): Shishi Odoshi, Bamboo Fountain, Deer Scarer, That Thing That Goes Doink, Bamboo Thing That Goes Doink, Deer Scare, The Japanese Bamboo Thing That Goes Doink