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Nov 2, 2012

百人一首 Hyakunin Isshu

友人たちと百人一首の会をしてみました。

The other day, a group of women decided to try something very Japanese and we played Hyakunin Isshu.

厳密にいえば小倉百人一首。13世紀始めごろ藤原定家が100人の歌人の100首を選んだもので、時代でいえば飛鳥時代の天智天皇から鎌倉時代の順徳院までの歌が入っています。

Hyakunin Isshu (to be precise, Ogura Hyakunin Isshu) is an anthology of one hundred waka poems by one hundred poets, compiled by Fujiwara no Teika (1162-1241) in the early 13th century.

江戸時代、木版画の技術が普及すると絵入りの歌がるたとして、百人一首は広く庶民に広まりました。

Later, in the Edo period, thanks to the development of woodblock printing technique, it was made into a card game and became popular among ordinary people. 

The game consists of 200 cards;100 yomifuda (reading cards) and 100 torifuda (playing cards).

読み札には和歌が一首と歌人のイラストが描かれています。

These are yomifuda.  Each card has a picture of a poet and his/her complete waka poem.

取り札には下の句だけがひらがなで。

These are torifuda.  Only the second half of the poem is on the card.

いろいろな遊び方があるようですが、私たちは普通のカルタ同様100枚の取り札をテーブルに広げて遊びました。

There are several ways to play, but we played the simplest way.

1) Spread all the torifuda on the table.
2)A reader reads out a poem on the yomifuda.
3)The players try to take the corresponding torifuda.


百人一首にはいろいろな魅力があると思いますが、まず第一はやはり和歌そのもののが洗練されていて素敵。

I think Hyakunin Isshu is full of great charm, the first being the beauty and the sophistication of the poems.

取り札が下の句だけというのもおもしろいですよね。歌を覚えているほうが有利。教養がものをいうこんなゲーム、世界に他にあるんでしょうか?私も何度も覚えようとしたんですけど、結局下の句を聞いてから勝負してます。(^_^;)

Also, I think it is quite unique that only the second half of the poem is on torifuda. If you know the poem by heart, you can start searching for the card just by hearing the first part.  So, in this game, education counts.  I wonder if there are similar games in other countries.  

Me?  I have tried many times to memorize those poems, but my game doesn't start until I hear the second half.  (^_^;)

絵札の美しさも魅力です!特に今回のカードは友人のおばあ様の形見だそうで、明治時代のもの。本当の版画で、鮮やかでした。

The beauty of yomifuda also adds to the charm.  Especially the cards we played were very pretty.  They were old, more than 100-year old.  One of my friends inherited them from her grandmother. 

お姫様カードだけ集めてみました。100枚中21枚。

  These are all the "princesses,"  21 out of 100.




坊主は12枚。

All the 12 "priests."



せっかくだったので、着物で出かけました。

I wore my kimono for this special occasion.  (*^。^*)



日本情緒に触れるいい機会でした。
またお正月にでも家族でやってみたいな、と思います。

It was nice to do a real Japanese thing in a real Japanese atmosphere.  I enjoyed it very much.


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6 comments:

Minoru Saito said...

 こんにちは。 普通の日に百人一首とは優雅です。
 着物もとても素敵です。
お仲間の中で一番お若い様ですね。

Merry Witch said...

Minoruさま
いえいえ、着物が派手なだけなんです(>_<)

でも本当に優雅な時間でした。

Rurousha said...

Oh you look beautiful in a kimono! Such a lovely blue, too! Did you tie the obi yourself?

I've worn a kimono only three times, but an expert had to dress me each time. ^^

I could never play this waka card game. I've tried いろはがるた for children, but even that was too difficult for me. It's fun, though!

Merry Witch said...

Rurousha,
Thank you.(*^_^*)
I'm not an expert, but yes, I can tie the obi. When you tie the obi yourself, it's much more comfortable. Because it's not too tight.

I hope you enjoyed wearing a kimono.

Those waka cards are so beautiful. I think you would enjoy just looking at them.

Tall Gary said...

Minoru Saito is a sly old fox. Truthful though he may be I couldn’t help thinking, 「世辞上手ですね」。

At over a hundred years old that set must be Meiji Period. If they were Edo Period they would be written in a grass style something like this or this.

I could find translations of the two torifude cards that we can see clearly: here and here. There are brief biographical and informative blurbs also.

I would have as much chance of winning this game as I would winning an Olympic gold medal in anything other than the “tall jump” (an attempt at humor).

By the way, nice house you have there. (I am assuming that is your house). These last two posts of yours have reminded me of my first weeks in Japan when I had a home stay.

I love your blue kimono. You wear it well. The thickness and texture of the material is attractive also. Do you have a kimono-wearing certificate or license?

Merry Witch said...

Tall Gary,
Yes, Minoru is very お世辞上手ですね.   (^_^;)

Those cards are from Meiji period. Really nice. You may notice, on their torifuda, they have old-style writing. (ひとにハ instead of ひとには)「か」was written in old style, too. So, it was a little hard for us to play with those cards.

It's great you could find those two poems just by looking at the second half on torifuda. I think you could do very well in the game. Tall jump?? (^_-)

If you click the princesses and priest photos, I'm hoping you can read all those poems, too.

The place where we played Hyakunin Isshu is not my house. It's a public building right by Omiya Hikawa Jinja.

I don't have a kimono certificate. But I sometimes enjoy going out in kimono. I'm glad you like my blue kimono. Thank you.