NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

2007/11/29

道才かるた Dousai-karuta Dousai Karuta

Jp En


Dousai Karuta is a kind of karuta, a card game, which became popular in Kyoto-Osaka area during Edo era.
In Edo era when Hanafuda, a card game played for money was outlawed, people began using karuta cards instead of Hanafuda cards so they could continue gambling. The karuta card was based on Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each), the famous Japanese anthology of waka, and this form of gambling with karuta cards known as “Mubeyama” became widespread. Dousai karuta was based on the Mubeyama, but its gambling aspect was more emphasized.
In  Karuta game, there are two kinds of cards; yomifuda or reading cards, and torifuda or grabbing cards. When the words in the yomifuda are read, players have to find the corresponding torifuda before anyone else does. In Dosai karuta, a proverb is written on each yomifuda card and a torifuda card has its matching picture.  
Most of the proverbs ridiculed someone who never learned by experience. One of the cards read “Do learn a lesson this time, Dousaibou” which the karuta game was named after.
Dosai karuta appeared to be initially created for children’s educational purposes, however, it became prevalent as a gambling game for adults.  
Dousai karuta is a much valued karuta game that tells us today about the life and culture of common people during Edo era.

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