hanafuda

Hanafuda - 花札, translated as "flowers cards" - is a traditional japanese playing cards. It has 48 cards divided into 12 months of the japanese calendar. Each month features a floral theme and symbols proposed by the japanese nature through the seasons of a year. This playing cards is also present in Korea (hwatu) and Hawaii.

story

The origins of Hanafuda come from the 16th century when a portuguese missionary and his team brought a deck of 48 playing cards in Japan, Hombre, a card game from Spain. The japanese playing cards was only allowed among the nobility, therefore the portuguese game became quickly popular among the japanese lower class.

When Japan closed its borders, all foreign card games were banned. Therefore, several playing cards were created: a deck of 75 cards inspired by chinese warrior art and several decks of 48 cards that are close to the modern Hanafuda. Fallen into the hands of the japanese mafia, they were successively banned by the government because these cards were mainly used for gambling.

Following the change of government, Meiji, Japan opened its borders to the world and the playing cards was proclamed lawful again. In 1889, Fusajirô Yamauchi seized the opportunity and founded the Nintendo Koppai company to commercialize the card game Hanafuda. Quickly adopted by the Yakuza as gambling, the Hanafuda also became popular with the public.

Today, Hanafuda are playing in Japan, Korea and Hawaii, each with their own rules. In Japan, Nintendo still produces three versions of Hanafuda who differ in their quality of production: Napoleon deck, Tengu deck and the flower deck. There are also some Hanafuda deck created for the most popular licenses: Mario, Star Wars, One Piece ...

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cards

Hanafuda consists of 48 cards divided into 12 floral families of 4 cards, each family represents a month of the Japanese calendar, but can also be appropriate for the Gregorian calendar. Each card belongs to a card type with a set point value: 5 cards called Light (20 points), 9 cards called Tane or Animal (10 points), 10 cards called Tanzaku or Ribbon (5 points) and 24 cards called Plain or Flower (1 point).

  • Pine Red poem tanzaku Plain Plain

    january - pine

    1. Crane (20 pts)
    2. Red poem tanzaku (5 pts)
    3. Plain (1 pt)
    4. Plain (1 pt)
  • Nightingale Red poem tanzaku Plain Plain

    february - plum

    1. Nightingale (10 pts)
    2. Red poem tanzaku (5 pts)
    3. Plain (1 pt)
    4. Plain (1 pt)
  • Curtain Red poem tanzaku Plain Plain

    march - cherry

    1. Curtain (20 pts)
    2. Red poem tanzaku (5 pts)
    3. Plain (1 pt)
    4. Plain (1 pt)
  • Cuckoo Red tanzaku Plain Plain

    april - wisteria

    1. Cuckoo (10 pts)
    2. Red tanzaku (5 pts)
    3. Plain (1 pt)
    4. Plain (1 pt)
  • Bridge Red tanzaku Plain Plain

    may - iris

    1. Bridge (10 pts)
    2. Red tanzaku (5 pts)
    3. Plain (1 pt)
    4. Plain (1 pt)
  • Butterflies Blue tanzaku Plain Plain

    june - peony

    1. Butterflies (10 pts)
    2. Blue tanzaku (5 pts)
    3. Plain (1 pt)
    4. Plain (1 pt)
  • Boar Red tanzaku Plain Plain

    july - lespedeza

    1. Boar (10 pts)
    2. Red tanzaku (5 pts)
    3. Plain (1 pt)
    4. Plain (1 pt)
  • Moon Geese Plain Plain

    august - pampas

    1. Moon (20 pts)
    2. Geese (10 pts)
    3. Plain (1 pt)
    4. Plain (1 pt)
  • Sake cup Blue tanzaku Plain Plain

    september - chrysanthemum

    1. Sake cup (10 pts)
    2. Blue tanzaku (5 pts)
    3. Plain (1 pt)
    4. Plain (1 pt)
  • Deer Blue tanzaku Plain Plain

    october - maple

    1. Deer (10 pts)
    2. Blue tanzaku (5 pts)
    3. Plain (1 pt)
    4. Plain (1 pt)
  • Rain Swallow Red tanzaku Lightning

    november - willow

    1. Rain (20 pts)
    2. Swallow (10 pts)
    3. Red tanzaku (5 pts)
    4. Lightning (1 pt)
  • Pheonix Plain Plain Plain

    décember - paulownia

    1. Pheonix (20 pts)
    2. Plain (1 pt)
    3. Plain (1 pt)
    4. Plain (1 pt)

games

There are several rules for Hanafuda playing cards:
  • Japan: Koi-Koi, Hachi-Hachi
  • Korea: Go-Stop
  • Hawaï: Sakura

glossary

Akatan
赤短あかたん, red tanzaku
Ame Shikō
雨四光あめしこう, rain four light
Aotan
青短あおたん, blue tanzaku
Akatan-Aotan no Chōfuku
赤短あかたん青短あおたん重複じゅうふ, combination of red tanzaku and blue tanzaku
Gokō
五光ごこう, five light
Hanami de ippai
花見はなみ一杯いっぱい, flowers viewing
Inoshikachō
猪鹿蝶いのしかちょう, this term is a combination of the following animals name: inoshishi for boar, shika for deer et chō for butterflies.
Sankō
三光さんこう, three Lights
Shikō
四光しこう, four light
Tanzaku
短冊たんざく, a tanzaku is a small vertical card used to write poems, it is also used to write a wish that hangs on a tree during certain occasions, including the Tanabata festival.
Tsukimi de ippai
月見つきみ一杯いっぱい, Moon viewing
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