I bumped into a mention of Hanafuda, the Japanese flower cards in Pagat. I didn’t react until Yesterday, when I saw a book about it in a local library. I borrowed it and now I’m definitely fascinated.
Hanafuda cards are quite beautiful, small cards. They don’t have numbers like the western playing cards. Instead, the 48-card deck consists of twelve suits, one for each month. The cards have pictures of flowers related to the different months: January has pine, March has cherry and so on. The cards have different values so that each suit has a high card (20 or 10 points), another high card (10 or 5 points) and low cards (one point). It takes some practise to remember the cards!
Games played on these cards are mostly fishing games. Hachi-hachi (eighty-eight) is said to be the best. I don’t know, I haven’t tried. It seems a bit like Mahjong as it has lots of special hands and special combinations you must know. Seems a bit luck-heavy, but that’s probably just fine.
Now I only have to find myself some Hanafuda cards. So, if anyone has a clue where I could get myself a pack or two (preferably in Finland or in EU), drop me an e-mail or place a comment here.