The second practice session in 2012 was held on February 4th. It was such a gorgeous day. The plum tree in the front yard of Noriko & Olivia’s house, where SF Karuta Club practice, is almost in full bloom.
We decided to continue using Kimariji Goshoku Karuta (きまり字五色かるた), which we tried out in the last practice and came out very effective. However, you can only get these special Karuta by placing an order directly with the manufacturer in Japan. We currently only have one set that was given to us by Boston Nakamaro Karuta Club. So, we decided to hand-make some more. Well, when you live in foreign country for some time, you get used to accommodating things from your country by “making by yourself”.
We created data on PC and printed it out. As regular printing paper is too thin, we cut out a box to make cardboard cards, then pasted printed images on them with glue. They actually came out really well, and all participants were pretty impressed to hear they were hand-made.
This time, we had 8 participants total. What was very unique about this practice session was that 5 out of 8 participants were non-native Japanese speakers, who have been learning Japanese languages or have lived in Japan for some time. I asked what made them interested in Hyakuninisshu Karuta. Answers were “I’m very attracted to Japanese classical literature.”, “I’ve been watching Chihayafuru (popular Japanese anime)”, and “I loved the TV show Sakuyakonohana (NHK drama about a girl playing Karuta in Edo period)”. While they were all interested in Japanese culture, it was interesting to hear diverse experience and interest depending on generation, etc.
Today’s tea time sweets was “Macha Dainagon Roll (sweet bean paste cream rolled in Macha sponge cake)”
The next practice session is February 19th Sunday. Please see Activities for details.