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The Steel Frame Crossing gamble is seen during Kaiji's competition at the Starside Hotel, consisting of two parts;

  • Human Derby (人間競馬)
  • Electric Current Steel Frame Crossing (電流鉄骨渡り).

A video game called Kaiji: Steel Beam Crossing of Despair was created based solely around this gamble. It also appears in the Gyakkyō Burai Kaiji: Death or Survival video game.

Human Derby

In contrast to Restricted Rock, Paper, Scissors, contestants are not briefed on the rules of the Human Derby, and are unaware of the nature of the gamble until they accept participating in it.[1]

Contestants are loaded into numbered "coffins" and are elevated several floors up the Starside Hotel to a platform overlooking a concrete courtyard. Contestants are expected to walk across four long, steel beams - the first to arrive on the other side of the beam nets ¥20 million, the second place finisher ¥10 million. The steel beams become more narrow as the contestants begin to cross them, though touching the beam with hands at any time disqualifies the contestant.[1]

The pushing of contestants to get out of the way is not only condoned but is in fact encouraged, since the contestants (the "horses") are being bet on by spectators below, who enjoy the struggle to the other side. Contestants who fall from the beams suffer severe injury - depending on how and where they land, their injuries can range from serious to fatal.[1]

Electric Current Steel Frame Crossing

Once the winners of the first leg of the race have been identified, they are given coupons redeemable for their prize with a set time limit.[1]

To cash the coupons, the contestants must cross a similar but more dangerous bridge twenty two stories above the ground. Falling from this bridge is instant death.[1]

Since the hosts concluded that the crossing of the bridge would not be entertaining if the contestants could give up and use their hands to assist in their retreat off the bridge, a mild electric current is run through the steel beams - while not powerful enough to cause serious injury or be fatal, the current is enough to stun contestants, causing them to lose balance and fall from the bridge. Psychologically, this bridge is much more challenging because of the greater peril involved.[1]





Chuukan Kanriroku Tonegawa

Live Action

Death or Survival


  • Kaiji is the sole survivor of this gamble.
  • Yamazaki thought the Human Derby was Hyōdō and his staff riding debtors like horses and racing them.
  • Hyōdō himself created the gamble.


Part 1 Restricted Rock, Paper, ScissorsSteel Frame CrossingE-CardTissue Box Raffle
Part 2 Underground ChinchiroThe Bog
Part 3 Minefield Mahjong
Part 4 The Sword is Mightier than LoveSalvation Game
Part 5 One Poker
Other Human MahjongThe Princess and the Slave