Hyakunin Isshu in High School

One subject I haven’t covered here much is the subject of the Hyakunin Isshu is the karuta card-game. I’ve talked about it on my other blog, but I saw this recent article on the Asahi Shinbun newspaper and wanted to talk this one in particular.

Photo by Koichiro Ohba, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As the article explains, the Hyakunin Isshu card-game is one of many extra-curricular activities in Japan for kids, though usually not as popular as sports or other activities. Still it has a small, venerable tradition, and like many school activities, it can be pretty competitive, but a great team-building activity.

I was surprised to hear about the new comic about this sport though, titled “Chihayafuru“, which is related to poem 17 in the Hyakunin Isshu (the opening line), which also happens to be a famous pillow word too. I was thinking it might be interesting to read, except the cover implies that it’s a young ladies novel, and I am too old, and too much of a male neanderthal for that kind of thing. 😉

2 responses to “Hyakunin Isshu in High School”

  1. The anime adaptation of Chihayafuru is actually quite good! After a few episodes, the show gets you really into the extreme intensity of the game. I believe you would enjoy learning about the hidden meanings behind some of the poems.

  2. ahh it’s interesting that because of the manga I found your blog! I’m trying to further understand the poems and this blog has been a great help indeed. Thank you so much! I believe you would enjoy the manga as it goes deep into the poems and it’s imagery too, a little long/time consuming though as it is still ongoing after many years.

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