NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

2006/12/15

かるた遊び Karuta-asobi Karuta Game

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Karuta games (card game) of Japan originated in the Kaiawase game (shell game) played among the women of the noble families in the Heian period (794−1192). Later in the Edo period (1603−1867), the rectangular cards of Uta-garuta with tanka poems written on them began to be played, which developed into the present Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (poems of one hundred poets). In this game, the Yomite (reader) reads kaminoku (the first 17 syllables of a poem) in the yomifuda (reading cards) and the players have to find its torifuda (grabbing cards) in which the associated shimonoku (the rest 14 syllables) are written. Kyogi-Karuta (competition karuta) is usually played between the two players but three players take part in the game in some cases. Other kinds of karuta are Iroha-Karuta with a kana letter of 48 Japanese alphabets and a picture are written in torifuda while a proverb connected to the picture is written in yomifuda and Eawase-Karuta for infants to learn the language.

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