Improvised Hanafuda Deck

A Hanafuda deck is not always  available when you want to play koi Koi.  Fear not ,because any 52 card western deck can be used to play Hanafuda games.  Since there are fours cards of each rank it is simple to let the ranks of the card be it’s Hanafuda suit.  So you would remove the twos from the deck and you have 12 Hanafuda suits. For example all the aces would be Pine/ January. The ace of spades would be the bright of the suit, the ace of clubs the ribbon, and  aces of Hearts and Diamonds would be the trash cards of the suit.

If you do not mind drawing on your cards, the special  cards of a suit could be marked with a sharpie marker. Otherwise you could simply write a the role of each card on a piece of paper. Maybe even write a list of the Yaku with the modified suits on it.

If you have any ideas how to improve this idea please share in the comments.


2 thoughts on “Improvised Hanafuda Deck

  1. I first encountered hanafuda ironically enough on a ferry from Mokpo, Korea to some Korean island in the middle of winter. After a few hours of riding outside in the cold, the crew realized we did not know where the other passengers went,felt sorry for us and came outside to show us to a large smoke-filled lounge where everyone sat on a hard wooden floor huddled together. We wondered what they were all doing in circles, and noticed they were throwing these flower cards or tiles as hard as they could on the floor, people would shout out, and suddenly some of them would scramble to get a pool of money in the center.

    The action was very fast paced and hard to follow. As far as I could tell, there didn’t seem to be any logic to it.

    Sometime later after I was married, my father-in-law and his brother tried to teach me the rules, but it was just too much to remember for me, and too hard for them to explain to me with my 4th grader-level Japanese.

    Last year while in NYC, my son dragged me into the Nintendo store, where I bought my first real hanafuda deck ( and my son also educated me on the history of Nintendo… It seems the company originally started as a manufacturer of hanafuda cards …who knew?)
    Since the instructions were in both English and Japanese, we thought it might be a good game for the family.

    Unfortunately, even in English I find the game too complicated, and time-consuming to learn, so we have procrastinated on that, but the cards are beautiful, and one day I hope to find the time to learn the rules so I don’t need to read to plan my next move. I know it is supposed to be a very fast-paced game. Thanks, Pete, for the tips while learning to play!


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