Competitive karuta is an official sport using the Japanese traditional card. It is also called “a Fighting sport on tatami” because it requires the ability to memorize and to have quick reflexes at all times.The Japanese national championship tournament of competitive karuta is held every January at Omi Jingu (a Shinto Shrine) in Shiga. The titles Meijin and Queen are awarded to the winners of the men's and women’s division, respectively. Ms. Sae Tsuruta, a 4th year student at the School of Education, Kyushu University bagged the title of the Queen in 2017.
Ms. Tsuruta is willing to work for next year’s championship tournament, which gives hope for a second consecutive title.
Playing competitive karuta is a good way to introduce the Japanese traditional cultures as well as to study the Japanese language, which is probably the reason why it captures attention overseas.
Comment from Ms. Tsuruta:
I think Queen has a role in advertising. Thanks to the comic “Chihayafuru” for featuring the competitive karuta, the number of people who started to play karuta has increased. I hope I can inspire those who don’t know karuta or children who just started playing karuta. Moreover, I want to tell people how fun, attractive, and wonderful karuta is through the game I play.
Hyakunin Isshu Club
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