Happy New Year!

The very first meeting in the year 2014 was a fun New Year Party!

As communicated in advance, the purpose of this meeting was to “relax and enjoy Karuta games”, and not to practice seriously as we do at usual meetings. Here are special recreational Karuta cards we used. In addition to standard Hyakunin-isshu cards, we had all these fun cards with comic characters and such.

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So, we were ready to relax and have fun, however, we ended up doing once serious game with a brand new member who joined our meeting for the first time. He told us that he had been practicing by himself and had already memorized all one hundred cards, and I could sense that he really wanted try out his skills. So, Olivia, who is Murasame-kai’s second best player, played one short game with him.

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And, all of us were blown away by how good he was! Great to have such a skillful and motivated new member.

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After the welcome match, we finally started playing fun games.

This group played “Iroha-Karuta” which uses much simpler phrases than Hyakunin-Isshu and Torifuda (grabbing cards) include the first syllable and very friendly picture.

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The other group used the Karuta cards of The Rose of Versailles, which is a very popular comic in Japan.

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This is Bozu-Mekuri game, where you pull out picture cards from a stack facing down. (Bozu is the monk, mekuri means to “turn over” as in the pages of a book.) The basic rules are, when you get a man, keep the card. When you get a woman, keep the card and pull another. When you get a monk, discard your stash and start from zero. Whoever has the most cards in the end wins.

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The last game was Chirashi-dori, where all the participants played over one set of cards.
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After the Karuta games, we had a potluck party! Pizza, Yaki-soba, ice cream, and so many other yummy dishes!
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We all had lots of fun, and I hope we keep having fun even when we go back to more serious practice.
A Happy New Year, everyone!

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