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What is Hanafuda..

What is Hanafuda?

(花札, “flower cards”) are a style of Japanese playing cards, made from paper and cardboard.

On the face of each card is a depiction of flowers, tankzak, subjects (animals and other objects), or culturally-significant scenes.
 After Japan closed off all contact with the Western world in 1639, foreign playing cards were getting banned.

During prohibition (Til 1886), gambling with cards remained highly popular which led to disguised card designs. Each time gambling with a card deck of a particular design became too popular, the government banned it, which then prompted the creation of a new design. 

Unlike earlier decks it consists of 12 months (suits) divided into four rank-like categories.
 In the Meiji-period, Hanafuda and rule books were released from above Ginza, and since then Hanafuda has become very popular.

-Hanafuda knowledge-

1.The "flower" in "Hanafuda" has this name because it is designed with flowers and birds, but it also means that it can be used as a substitute for this card (which originates from the Nanban and Tensho systems). It means "FLOWER" used in flower trains, flower sumo, etc.

2.Singing karuta is a play of the upper class, and it is said that it was forbidden to be used by the lower class. Therefore, in order to steal people's eyes and perform gambling, prepare a gambling hall in the back of the store, and when you enter the store, give a "signal to rub your nose (Hana = Hanafuda)" and guide you to the gambling hall. It is said that it was. In jargon, the Hanafuda store had a "tengu" face as a flower = Hana = nose.











There are 48 cards total, divided into twelve suits, representing months of the year. Each suit is designated by a flower and has four cards. An extra blank card may be included to serve as a replacement. In Korean Hwatu decks, several joker cards (조커패) award various bonuses.

※ In the Korean Hwatu version, the November and December suits are swapped.







Mekuri-derived games:

  • Hana Awase
  •  Minhwatu(Korean)
  • Koi-Koi
  • Sakura
  • Go-Stop (Hawaii)
  • Hachi-Hachi





  • 花合わせ
  • こいこい
  • 八八
  • さくら(ハワイのゲーム)
  • ゴーストップ(韓国のゲーム)



Hawaiian Hanafuda(ハワイの花札)