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Uta-garuta (歌ガルタ) is the most popular among the many kinds of karuta (card games) in Japan. It is played mostly on New Year's Day, but there are also national conventions for playing uta-garuta. Each card has a poem, or portion thereof, written on it with a total of 100 poems in the game.

These cards are based on "morals" for kids in Japan after World War 2.

The game of uta-garuta involves two types of cards.

about 50 "reading" cards with drawings: yomifuda
about 50 "grabbing" cards with words: torifuda

There are whole phrases of waka from the collection called Hyakunin Isshu written on the yomifuda. Only the lower phrase of the waka is written on the torifuda. When the reader reads out the waka on the yomifuda, the player quickly searches for the card among the torifuda to look for the phrase that matches the one that the reader is reading. This is the basic rule.

These are from the "昭和" "showa period" . The "showa" period is from 1926-1989 but these are from about the the 1960's or so.

These would be great for using in your art...mixed media, collage etc.

Each card measures 7.3 x 5.1 cm.

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Vintage Japanese Card Game Uta-Garuta 1955 Smile Karuta


  • Vintage Supply from the 1950s
  • Material: paper
  • Ships worldwide from Japan
  • Feedback: 2692 reviews
  • Favorited by: 38 people