World’s First English Hyakunin Isshu Karuta, “WHACK A WAKA” Will Be Available in July.

英語版百人一首パッケージ画像 NEWS

Hyakunin Isshu Karuta is a traditional card game of Japan. The cards are categorized into two groups, one is yomifuda (read cards) and the other is torifuda (take cards) and each card makes a pair with another one from the other group. You need to listen to what yomifuda is being read and look for its counterpart and take it before your opponent does.
KAWADA CO. LTD is releasing English translation of this game “WHACK A WAKA” in July 2019 in order to make this game a more popular one in the world.
One of the great things about this is people can learn about Japanese culture while simply having fun regardless of whether you are Japanese or not.

What Is Special About WHACK A WAKA?

1. The translation that flawlessly carries subtle nuances

First, you need to know Hyakunin Isshu Karuta is made of two components. Hyakunin Isshu is an anthology compiled in the early 13th century by one hundred poets. Karuta, on the other hand, refers to card games in general. Therefore, Hyakunin Isshu Karuta is a card game based on poems from Hyakunin Isshu. This feature makes it important to understand the poems in order to fully enjoy what the game offers.

The translation is done by Peter MacMillan who completed a book called “One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each” in which he translated Hyakunin Isshu into English and is an expert on poetry. He has made another version of the translation specifically for WHACK A WAKA so that it fits the game better. With MacMillan being a poet himself, his translation makes sure that the original rhythm of the language and its worldviews are not lost in translation.

2. Easy to Play

Usually, torifuda doesn’t have any pictures but only texts. However, WHACK A WAKA has pictures on both yomifuda and torifuda. This helps you remember the pairs which is essential for winning the game. You can still enjoy the game even if you have no prior knowledge about Japanese literature.

3. A New Way For Japanese People to Enjoy

WHACK A WAKA is written with simple vocabulary which makes it easier for Japanse people, as well as other non-native English speakers, to enjoy it. Hyakunin Isshu is written in classical Japanese which most Japanese people actually have trouble understanding. Instead, some rather find MacMillan’s translation easier than the original texts. WHACK A WAKA helps Japanese rediscover what their culture holds. It has Japanese texts on the back in case you are bold enough to play it in Japanese.

WHACK A WAKA Hyakunin English


Release Date: July 2019
Price: JPY 4298 (tax inclusive)
Dimensions: 115mm * 190mm * 50mm (equivalent with western playing cards)
Will Be Sold at: Bookstores


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