Hanafuda Japanese Flower CardsI was (embarrassingly) introduced to Hanafuda Japanese Flower Cards while writing up an article about Neopets games that had real life counterparts, or where somehow based off real life games.

A Hanafuda deck contains 12 suits, each representing a month of the year and having a designated flower.  There are 4 cards in each suit: 2 normal cards, 1 “ribbon” card, and one special card.  Most decks I’ve seen are absolutely beautiful.

Interestingly enough, Nintendo was first founded in 1889 for the sole reason of producing hand painted Hanafuda cards, though the history of the cards predates this a bit.

There are many games you can play with a Hanafuda deck.  I’m most familiar with the Korean game Godori (also called Go Stop), which is a completely addictive game.  You can pickup a book called Hanafuda the Flower Card Game to get an idea on Hanafuda’s namesake game, and a few others.