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Japanese Card Game - Uta-garuta - Hyakunin Isshu

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    Posted 12 days ago

    (248 items)

    Uta-garuta - Hyakunin Isshu

    This card game belonged to my mother and we found it while going through some of her things. The box top is not in good shape but this is a very old set.

    Hyakunin Isshu is a classical Japanese anthology of one hundred Japanese waka by one hundred poets(Waka is a type of poetry in classical Japanese literature.). Hyakunin isshu can be translated to "one hundred people, one poem [each]"; it can also refer to the card game of uta-garuta, which uses a deck composed of cards based on the Hyakunin Isshu.

    Uta-garuta (Poetry Karuta) is a type of a deck of karuta, Japanese traditional playing cards. A set of uta-garuta contains 100 cards, with a waka poem written on each. Uta-garuta is also the name of the game in which the deck is used. The standard collection of poems used is the Hyakunin Isshu, chosen by poet Fujiwara no Teika in the Heian period, which is often also used as the name of the game.

    The game uses two types of cards.

    Yomifuda (lit. "Reading Cards"): One hundred cards with a figure of a person, their name, and a complete poem by them on each.
    Torifuda (lit. "Grabbing Cards"): One hundred cards with only the finishing phrases of the poems on each.
    The game is played with the players seated on the floor. At the start of a game, 100 torifuda are neatly arranged on the floor face up between the players. When the reader starts reading out a poem on the yomifuda, the players quickly search for the torifuda on which the corresponding final phrase is written.

    There are two ways to play the game based on the rules above.

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    1. Newfld Newfld, 11 days ago
      Beautiful artwork of the ship on the box, and the ancient people seated in the cards. Thank you for explaining this fascinating game, it must have meant alot to your mother
    2. dav2no1 dav2no1, 11 days ago
      Thank you for your comments. Mom was a master of Japanese Senryu poetry. She was a judge(honorable position) and multi award winner.

      Maybe this is what got her interested?
    3. rhineisfine rhineisfine, 11 days ago
      Thank you for the explanation, this is wonderful!

      I'm sure you know this, but for other readers here, I'll mention that the box top depicts the takarabune (treasure ship) that is bursting with gold, coral and so forth:
    4. apostata apostata, 10 days ago
      i just dont know, i thought the poem second from the left was sosei hoshi ( the moon and sunrise poem, but it aint)

      i could not find this in showa period , maybe taisho , the tonality of the cards makes it probably before 1930, but i am not skilled enough to judge this

      it looks like a sort of kyougi karuta instead of the fun karuta cards, but i am only guessing
    5. apostata apostata, 10 days ago
      this is not an so normal deck of course ,sure it fulfills all the criteria , it looks a sort rather well bragging rights deck
    6. dav2no1 dav2no1, 10 days ago
      Thanks apostata. Mom was born in 1931 in Japan, so it could easily be that old?

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