Sunday, February 27, 2011

Card Games (Not on Motorcycles)

Obake karuta images from Wikicommons

I did a cultural presentation on 正月 (Japanese New Year celebration) last semester, and found a lot of information on Iroha Karuta, as it's a popular game to play during New Year festivities. It's basically a game of matching the text read from one card to the images on the others. There are 48 cards corresponding to the former ordering of the Japanese syllabary, each character representing a different proverb.
Brief overview of Iroha and related card games
More in-depth explanations

BUT! That's not all, it has evolved into many different forms and you can find all sorts of card games nowadays

Inubou karuta (犬ぼうかるた) Traditional Iroha game with a proverb on each card (named for the first card: 犬も歩けば棒に当たる/inu mo arukeba bou ni ataru/"Even a dog, walking, will come across a stick") Proverbs here

Youkai or Obake karuta (featuring ghosts, demons and monsters, popular in the Edo period)

Retro katakana karuta


More dinosaurs

(Not Iroha, but "Evolution cards")

ふるさとカルタ (Historic village?)

Totoro かるた

Toto awase (Tokyo style edition) Match the fish halves (you can find several versions of this game)

Tori awase - match the birds.

お魚かるた Reissue of a game produced by a Tokyo fish market as a promotional item..?

WHOA!  いい男... Hunky Man Iroha?

Evangelion Karuta

Adult Karuta

Action Karuta

京いろはかるた丸  Circular Iroha cards featuring punny illustrations of kanji

Kanji Trump Visual memory game for learning kanji

Children playing a giant Iroha game in the snow

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