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About Airsoft

Airsoft started in Japan in the 1970s by photographer Ichiro Nagata.

Nagata was an avid gun enthusiast who wanted to make model guns that could shoot a projectile, but was not a kids' toy and could be enjoyed by adults and—most importantly—not kill if a person was hit with it. These guns were trademarked as 'soft air guns' in Japan and tailored to the needs of budding gun enthusiasts while adhering to Japan's strict firearms laws. The 'soft air' name referred to the compressed freon-silicone oil mixture (later replaced by a propane-silicone oil mixture known as 'green gas') that was used as a propellant gas, which was significantly weaker than the cannister CO2 used in regular pellet guns). Originally designed for target shooting, the plastic balls used in these 'soft air guns' can be shot at humans without causing injury due to the low muzzle velocity.

​Today airsoft, also known in Japan as 'survival game' (サバイバルゲーム) or the abbreviation 'sabage' (サバげー), is enjoyed by many, with airsoft fields all over Japan, with the majority being in the Chiba area.

Ichiro Nagata

What We Do

Among the myriad grievances voiced by airsoft enthusiasts in Japan, a resounding complaint echoes through the fields; the monotony of regularly featuring the same duo of Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag. Recognizing the need for a breath of fresh excitement, we've stepped onto the scene to redefine the airsoft experience, catering to both English and Japanese enthusiasts alike.

​Our journey began with a modest clique of friends fueled by a shared barbecue to inject exhilaration into airsoft and cultivate a community that transcends the limitations of conventional games played on most fields.

​From its inception, Airsoft Online Japan (AOJ) has emerged as a beacon of diversity in the airsoft realm. Our distinctive game modes, coupled with an unwavering passion for the sport and the dedication we invest in our activities, have acted as a magnetic force, drawing individuals from all walks of life into our vibrant community.

Don't play alone!

Whether the players are college students, salarymen and women, parents, or even people just visiting Japan, we offer a relaxed and friendly atmosphere where our focus is on all participants having fun. Our members are from all over the world as well as local Japanese players, so we are able to offer language support in English, Japanese and even Chinese. Whatever your background or language ability, we do our best to welcome all participants and offer support, training (for new players) and translation services to everyone that attends. If you want to practice English in a fun environment, we can provide an immersive experience for you. If you cannot speak English, we have Japanese community leaders to help you out. 

​In addition, we tend to play using radios to maximise teamwork and add a much higher level of immersion as well as a more social atmosphere.

Community & field relations
LINE_ALBUM_202310 CampDevgruCharterGame_231023_50.jpg

As a community, we do not just offer airsoft games but we often host other outdoor events, whether it be hiking, beach trips, camping or even a more social activity like a picnic, barbecue or a few drinks in a nice pub. There will always be something coming to look forward to.

Our community leaders are working with various fields to offer overnight camping experiences as well as special deals and perks, whether it is the relaxed and open space of an overnight camping session and airsoft game at Camp Devgru or the chaos and excitement of Sabage Paradise. We are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to give our members the best experiences possible. So if you want to combine airsoft with a nice barbecue and overnight camping, we have you covered!

AOJ's events are not just a day of the same games

Arranging a day of flag games and team deathmatch costs nothing and is easy to manage. However, our games are unique. We do not spend the day playing simple flag games like most fields offer. We have a lot more game modes with useable props and items that we build or source ourselves. That is where the donations come in. Our leaders have put in much of their hard-earned cash to establish a homepage, build a community, advertise and build props to be used in our charter games. Such props you won't find anywhere else, and they add a lot of fresh ideas and excitement to airsoft in Japan. Since showing props like our bombs to field owners, they have taken interest in wanting to buy them to use at their fields. While this is not something we planned to do, it is flattering that our efforts are being noticed.

​The game modes we offer are quite diverse. We usually start the day with a warmup deathmatch or flag game and then jump into some more challenging and unique game modes.

We have unique props never seen before

Our games utilise functional props and devices to add a new element that is not just pressing a button. One such device we utilise is our Game Timer.

This timer uses a powerful horn that can be heard from 100 metres away and is used to signal the start and end of each game. This eliminates the need for clock-watching, miscommunication between teams and helps to ensure that timekeeping is properly managed.

​Made from durable ABS with a 12v battery, Raspberry Pi processor and programmed by the AOJ team, the timer adds simplicity to game environments and reduces the load on game masters, as well as inadvertently forgetting to set the timer, etc.

AOJ's Game Timer
AOJ's Bomb Prototype

Another aspect that makes AOJ games unique is the inclusion of functional devices for players to use such as wire-defused bombs, passcode-defused bombs, digital counters, domination switches and even a bomb vest for a special hostage game.

​Our devices are financed through donations as well as the AOJ team themselves, and made by AOJ leader Ben. Using prototype boards such as Arduino and coded with C++, the possibilities are somewhat endless for the kind of devices we can make and use in games.

​Our main devices are our bombs, in particular BD Mk.1 ('Bakudan Mark 1'), which is built into a heavy-duty weapon case, fitted with an LCD display, keypad, various buttons, a key switch (to prevent accidental resets), and powered using an 11.1v LiPo battery. The 120dB siren built in lets everyone around the bomb know when the game is over!

Veteran & Social Support

AOJ's leader, Ben, is the driving force behind the community. He served for many years in the special forces and has the added aspect of being on the autism spectrum. Navigating social landscapes has proven to be a formidable challenge for Ben, a struggle many can relate to.

​In recognizing the hurdles faced not only by veterans like himself but also individuals dealing with social issues such as shyness, social anxiety, and autism, Ben has forged a community that goes beyond the thrill of airsoft battles. At its core, Airsoft Online Japan is a haven where people come together not just to have a good time, but to weave connections and provide a safe space for those seeking camaraderie.

​For Ben, the mission is clear: to create an environment that mirrors the bonds formed in the military, allowing veterans to revisit the comradeship of squads and platoons. Simultaneously, it serves as a sanctuary for those grappling with social challenges, offering a secure, positive, and enjoyable setting for individuals to connect with like-minded peers.

​The unique camaraderie cultivated through our airsoft games and events isn't merely about recreation; it's a conduit for building lasting connections and nurturing a genuine sense of community. Join us not just for the adrenaline-pumping battles, but for the friendships and shared experiences that transcend the virtual world.

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