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hanafuda is a japanese card deck. various games can be played with them.

the cards feature images of flowers, animals, and a few other symbols; but overall, they don’t have any markings such as a suit, number, or color, unlike western decks of cards. rather, cards are organized by the fact that they share the same type of imagery, such as pine trees, or wisterias.

each month is represented by four cards of various types & point values:

learning the cards

before learning any games you can play with hanafuda, you need to be able to identify each card with its month, as well as its type of card and its value. below is an enumeration of the cards and their values. note the images used below are used licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 and are from wikipedia.

month flower hikari (20) tane (10) tanzaku (5) kasu (1)
january pine
february plum blossom
march cherry blossom
april wisteria
may iris
june peony
july bush cloer
august susuki grass
september chrysanthemum
october maple
november willow
december paulownia

hikari (bright) cards

one of the easiest ways to get started is to first memorize the 5 hikari (bright) cards:

card month name mnenomic
january the crane and sun two major elements; a rising sun and a bird makes it special. also the sun is bright.
march the curtain i always imagine the curtains are decorations for a festive night - also decoration are bright
august the full moon we all know the full moon is bright! and full moons are often special.
november the rain man the rain man is the only human in the deck. he is “bright” because he brought an umbrella.
december the chinese phoenix the phoenix rules over all others birds. its the king. and thus its special/bright.

tane (animal) cards

tanzaku (ribbon) cards

the tanzaku cards are split up into three groups:

kasu (“dregs”) cards

the kasu are the rest of the cards that don’t fit into the other ones, they are all plain, and don’t feature any animals, ribbons, or other major motifs. the one exception:

lightning card

The lightning card is an exception: it doesn’t look plain but is a kasu (1-point) card. some people play with it as a wildcard.

referenced by: icon representing the epistemic certainty of the linked pagetraditional-deck

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