Japanese Flower Card Game: Hanafuda

Oct 30, 2019

Japanese Flower Card Game: Hanafuda

Just around the time I came to Japan, I met a man 10 years older than I, and he became my best friend. 

Unusual for Japan, he was one of the top race horse trainers in Japan.

Having just landed on the Land Of The Rising Son, I barely spoke any Japanese, and my new friend’s English was basically zero. 

He invited me over to his house for my very first sukiyaki experience. 

In a recent post I talked about the incredible deliciousness of wa gyu, and the marbled beef in this exquisite sukiyaki dish melted in my mouth (you can see wagyu X amegyu here). 

Communicating with my friend was difficult those days,2 and we didn’t want to sit around being bored, so he pulled out this unique card game and taught me how to play. 

Strange to see card with the flowers on them, but after getting the rules, this card game is incredibly fun, and I played it often back in the day. 

You have to hand it to the Japanese, not only is this an incredible game, but how could I resist these “flower cards”. 

These card are also used for gambling, and picturing the Japanese mafia members sitting around smoking and drinking while playing the flower card game for high stakes is kind of like a contradition.

Oh, and by the way, the major manufacture of these cards is Nintendo.

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