Karuta is a Japanese card game. Its name comes from Portuguese carta, which means playing cards. There are several types of karuta, the best known of which are uta-karuta and iroha-karuta.
The uta-karuta game is based on the Hyakunin isshu, a famous collection of Japanese classical poems. It relies on memory: you read the first part of one of the hundred poems of the Hyakunin isshu and the players try be the fastest one to find the card with the second part among the hundred cards laid in front of them. It’s a traditional game on New Year’s Day in Japan.
The iroha-karuta comes from the poem iroha-uta, a hymn from the Nirvâna sûtra, made of hiragana only. It is a good help for people learning Japanese to remember hiragana as well as a few words.
At Japan Expo Sud
On the area organized by the Consulate General of Japan in Marseille, attend karuta workshops and learn how to play this card game!
More about the Consulate General of Japan in Marseille:
- on our website