A combination of chance and skill with an added touch of oriental charm. Hanafuda is the only one of the several games perennially enjoyed in this country: Mah Jong, Go, and Shogi all came from China. Consequently, the hanafuda cards bear pictures of seasonal flora and fauna treated in distinctively Japanese ornamental styles. For instance, the "pine" will probably remind the Westerner of cactus, and the shawl-shaped things over the head of the man with an umbrella are unlikely to suggest rain; but that is what they are. This may sound confusing, but in fact, once a few conventions are mastered - and that takes no time with the clear explanations in this book - the reader can expect hours of enjoyment from an arresting and amusing card game. Although there are numerous variants of hanafuda, this book concentrates on the most popular: a simple game called Matching Flowers and the more sophisticated and vastly more entertaining Eighty-eight and Koi-Koi. The text carefully explains the meanings of the pictures on the cards and their values as well as how to take tricks, count points, and keep score. Sample game situations are included to enable the reader to master the rules and start having fun as quickly as possible.
Paperback / Kodansha / 10 1/2" x 7" / 94 Pages / Printed in Japan / Japan Publications