We had the fourth practice of this year on March 3.
It was the 3rd practice that we used Goshoku-karuta(五色かるた), concentrating on 20 of the red cards. As most of the participants had experienced it at least once before, I could really see good progress in ALL of them.
I noticed many players were holding their hand about an inch up above one of the cards until the Shimono-ku (Lower Poem) was read. It is cold Kakomi-te(囲み手） or Kakoi-te（囲い手）, which literally means “barricading technique”. They did it because they had some poems memorized and were ready to grab the right card before hearing the Shimono-ku, but as they were still not 100% sure, they were holding up their hand over the target cards, waiting to hear the Shimono-ku. This tells you that it would not be too long before they could start grabbing right cards by just hearing a first few letters of Kamino-ku (Upper Poem).
March 3rd, the day of the practice, is known as Hinamatsuri Day in Japan. So, during the break, we had Peach Shaped Nerikiri(練りきり) I made and Hina-arare(雛あられ) one of the participants brought.
The next practice is March 18 (Sun). Please see Activities for detail.