Hanafuda Cards

Hanafuda is a traditional Japanese card game that was conceived when foreign cards were banned in the 1600s. Being very simple and quick to play, and with the added influence of seeing Summer Wars, I decided to pick up a deck for myself.

The particular set I bought came with two different color decks: red and black.

The leaflet with instructions on how to play.

Showing the various rules and cards.

The case the cards come in are protected with a hard plastic, and are held in place with a softer, plastic mold.

Like so.

The cards themselves are made with a heavy cardboard material and are beautifully printed. Cardboard is the traditional material, though they are also made with plastic, and although very durable, are considered of less authenticity by some.

To give you an idea of the size, I’ve set up a card next to a Yu-Gi-Oh! card.

The cards are grouped by month, with January being the first column on the far right (Follow the Crane and go down),  and December being the last column on the left.

The following will be examples of different Yaku:

When playing the Koi-Koi variant of Hanafuda, the goal is to complete a Yaku, or card combo, with each being worth various points. Here is a Yaku called Kasu, which is when you get 10 cards worth 1-point each, with the actual hand being worth 1-point and an additional 1-point for each 1-point card after.

Tan, which is when you get any combination of 5 Ribbon cards, with the hand worth 1-point and an additional 1-point for each Ribbon card after.

Tane, which is when you get 5 10-point cards, which can be any animals, the Docks, or Sake Cup. The hand is worth 1-point, and an additional point for each card after.

Ino-Shika-Cho, which is the Boar, the Deer and the Butterfly. Worth 5-points, and an additional point for each additional 10-point card.

Akatan, all three red Poetry ribbon cards, worth 6-points. For every additional 5-point card, you get 1-point.

Aotan, all three blue ribbon cards, worth 6-points, and an additional 1-point for every additional 5-point card.

Sanko, which is 3 bright cards (The 20-point cards), not including the Rain Man card. Worth 6-points.

Ame-Shiko, which is any four 20-point cards including the Rain Man card. Worth 7-points. There is also a Yaku called Shiko, which is any four 20-point cards, not including the Rain Man. Also worth 7-points.

Goko, all five Bright Cards (20-Point Cards). Worth 10-points. The Highest Yaku.

There are a number of different Yaku that I did not show, but hopefully this gave you an idea of what to expect.

An example of how a game is started. For example purposes, the player’s hands are laid out.

This is a beautiful set of Hanafuda cards. The material is of high quality, and the printing is nicely detailed. If you are interested in learning the game, there are many websites that offer instruction better than I could ever explain it. I would recommend this fun card game to anyone.

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