Cultural References

Karuta & Hanafuda
Retro Pop Culture

taken from Karuta: Sports or Culture? &

Karuta, a kind of card game, is also popular during the New Year holiday. The players spread out cards on which pictures and poems, or characters and proverbs, or flowers and months, are illustrated. The object of the game is to pick the correct cards first. In one game, a reader reads the first part of poem while the players search for the card on which the last part is written.

Hanafuda cards grew out more tradional European gambling cards that were introduced to Japan by St. Francis Xavier when he arrived in Japan in 1549. Hanafuda also seemed to grow out of the previously mentioned Karuta card game. It finally caught on in the 1800s, and ironically, Nintendo got it's start manufacturing Hanafuda cards.

Relevance to Ranma

One of the music CDs comes with a Ranma karuta card game.

Hanafuda cards are emblazoned on the Gambling King's outfit.

An Introduction to Ranma