[Japanese word “Hanafuda”]


Today’s Japanese word is “Hanafuda” 花札 (The Japanese Flower Card game).
“Hanafuda” is one of the card game in Japan.

By the way, Do you know the “Nintendo”?
“Nintendo” is a company that sell many kind of computer game. For example, the Nintendo DS and Wii and so on.
Have you ever heard about this company’s name?

This Nintendo is manufacturing wholesaler of “Hanafuda” representing Japan.

So, today’s word “Hanafuda”.
It is literally “Hana” 花 is flower, “fuda” 札 is card.

Azuchi-Momoyama era, Portuguese sailors brought a card game to Japan.
And, it was the origin of “Hanafuda”. It is called “Caruta”.
“Hanafuda” imitated the playing cards, it consists of 48 cards.
But there is no number in “Hanafuda”.
On the other hand, “Hanafuda” is characterized flowers and birds, poetic 12 months is drawn.

Picture of “Hanafuda” is,
January : Pine trees [with cranes and the sun] February : Plum blossom [with bush warblers] March : Cherry blossom [with camp curtains] April : Wisteria [with cuckoo] May : Iris [with Yatsuhashi Bridge] June : Peony [with butterflies] July : “Hagi” (bush clover) [with Wild boar] August : “Susuki”(Japanese pampas grass) [with The moon] September : Chrysanthemum [with sake cup] October : Maple [with deer] November : Willow [with swallow and man with umbrella (he’s name is Ono-no-Tofu. He is poet in Heian era, and frog] December : Paulownia [with Chinese phoenix]

※[] Inside is a special Pattern.
Normal Card is 1 point, special pattern card is 5~20 points.

“Hanafuda” is also a play called “Koi-Koi”.
But, it is a little difficult to remember the rules and the card designs.
Seeing “Hanafuda”‘s designs is to imagine Japan, please enjoy leisurely.

Picture of "Hanafuda" image 12 months