My First Karuta Purchase

I finally did it! I got my very own karuta set of the hyakunin isshu.

Since we came to Japan earlier this week (just ahead of snowy weather, no less), my original plan was to go to the famous karuta shop in Tokyo: Okuno Karuta.

However, since we are here primarily for family matters, we are here for a narrow window of time, and because it’s fairly deep in Tokyo (and thus far removed from my in-laws home), getting there is probably not feasible. Plans might change, but I don’t think I will be able to visit this time around.

On the other hand, at a local bookstore I found a really nice, affordable set:

This set is made by Kyoto Tengu-dō, another famous karuta company. I love the box design. Inside, you can see the full set of yomifuda and torifuda cards:

As the product link shows, this set was designed for beginners to karuta games, and the torifuda cards (the ones without pictures) are written in a very legible font, so they’re easier to newcomers to find cards on the fly.

The illustrations are different than what I normally see on karuta cards, but I found out later that this is more typical of handicrafts from Kyoto, versus more Tokyo-style art. Also, the more I look at them, the more I appreciate the amazing detail, such as the clothing patterns, curtains, etc. It’s really fun just to flip through the cards and look.

This set cost me ¥1700, so about $12-15 (depending on exchange rate), which as a gorgeous starter set is quite good deal in my opinion.

Also, I suspect that this won’t be the last set I collect either. 😜

P.S. I had also thought about ordering from Okuno Karuta, but I can’t be sure it would arrive at my in-laws house in time due to holidays and our short schedule. Like I said, I am in no rush and will visit another time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: