Interest in Karuta and Hyakunin Isshu

I was curious if other people in the forums are interested in karuta or the hyakunin isshu. I started playing kyogi (competitive) karuta recently. I was curious if other people had thought about playing karuta or studying the poems in order to improve on Japanese ability.


I watched Chihayafuru (anime about karuta which has 3 seasons I think) and it was really good. I’ve tried to learn the poems but my japanese skills are wayyyyy too low so I’ll come back to them when I’m around lvl 30+


Chihayafuru is really good! It’s what got me interested in karuta at first. This is a cool website that shows the kanji besides romaji besides an English translation. Once you do go back to the poems, it’s a good resource.


Memorizing the poems is a goal of mine. Maybe this year.


You seen the live-action Chihayafuru films?

I’ve visited Omi Jingu, which is where they host the all-Japan karuta competitions. :slightly_smiling_face:

Also, we’re possibly forming a book club splinter group to read this.


I’m currently watching Chihayafuru and loving it :heart:
Karuta is such a beautiful game/sport, and I definitely feel like checking out some of the poems and their meanings, they all sound so meaningful

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I’ve seen the anime and the first film, haven’t seen all the movies yet!

I want to go to Omi Jingu, my karuta sensei invited me to go to the international tournament there in May but I have work so I don’t think I can go…

I’d be super interested in reading that book! Right now, I have all the kimari-ji (this is what you need to know for competitive karuta play) memorized, but none of the full poems, and I’d love to delve more into meanings and poetic language in Japanese.

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I’m so jealous you went to Omi Jingu!! How was it?? Also, how do the films compare to the anime, I’ve seen some pretty terrible adaptations (I’m looking at you Death Note…)


This is a very nice documentary about a translator who translated all the poems into English and made a bi-lingual card set from his translations.

Last time I was in Japan, I bought this card set and we finally got to play it on Boxing Day with some friends and it was fantastic.

This series of programmes about Japanophiles is fantastic. From fans of cookery, martial arts, music, sake and everything else. In all of them, their dedication is so impressive.

I am interested too, more in overall thing - studying the poems, as well as comments to the choice of words, the symbols used and the hidden meanings. Got quite a collection of books on it already and can’t read them still because my Japanese is not sufficient. Or so I feel :upside_down_face:
My friend from Japan advised me to install a small app called First Karuta (or 初めてかるた、無料版) and so I play with the “study karuta” mode when I have a few minutes. Even a short attempt tires my brain out completely though :sweat_smile:

Quite nice. We were there on the day of the Omi Matsuri, which meant we were able to enter the inner courtyard - it’s usually closed off, so you can look out across it, but not go in. :slightly_smiling_face:

I enjoyed the films a lot. Naturally they’ve tweaked things a bit to make more self-contained arcs, and reordered some events (for example, they visit Arata for the first time at the start of the second movie, rather than before they even form the club), but most of the same plot elements are still there.

My biggest quibble is how the third movie feels a little bit tacked-on - they ended the second movie with everyone having overcome their character flaws and achieving a grand victory (as sports movies do)… and then come the third movie, they all get their character flaws back again so the movie can have at least some tension…

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