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Hyakunin-Isshu / Finest Class / Paulownia Box

Regular price $360.00 USD
Sale price $360.00 USD Regular price
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Product Description : Why is it so EXPENSIVE?

Product Story

General Product Information

The front of the card is made of beautiful and elegant Washi paper, which is said to be durable and resistant to deterioration, and the back is covered with gold and silver leaf.
The luxurious appearance and feel of this carefully handcrafted product can be enjoyed.

What is the Hyakunin Isshu?
The Hyakunin Isshu is a collection of waka poems by 100 representative poets from the Asuka period to the early Kamakura period.
The object of the game is to listen to the first verse of the poem read by the reader and try to get the card with the last verse written on it as quickly as possible.
Hyakunin Isshu is a traditional Japanese game, and its appeal is that it allows players to experience its history and culture.

 Product History

When did these crafts start to craft?:1200 years ago / 800AD / Heian period in Japan

Karuta is a traditional Japanese game in which players compete with each other to get dozens of rectangular pieces of cardboard with designs, letters, or songs written on them.
It has long been popular as indoor playground equipment, mainly played during the New Year's holiday.

The origin of karuta is said to be the Heian period (794-1185) game called "Kai-Ooi". Kai-Ooi was a game played mainly by aristocratic women during the Heian period (794-1185).
In this game, two shells are divided into two separate shells, and the upper and lower phrases and illustrations of waka poems are written on the shells to find a pair.

In the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1573-16013), "Nanban karuta" (similar to playing cards) was introduced to Japan by the Portuguese.
The Nanban karuta and the shell-covering were fused together, and the game came to be played with paper cards. This is the prototype of today's karuta.

What is Competitive Karuta aka martial arts practiced on Tatami?
The game of karuta was first introduced in 1904 as a competition to promote the benefits of karuta. The fighting over the karuta is so intense that it is also called a martial art on tatami mats.
In Japan, there are manga based on this game, and it has also been made into a movie, making competitive karuta very popular.

Craftsman Story

Craftsman Profile

Satoshi Tamura / Tamura Shogundo
Tamura Shogundo was founded in 1921. Satoshi Tamura was born into a family of karuta craftsmen, and following in his father's footsteps, he is now a karuta craftsman who is dedicated to handcrafting karuta every day.
Tamura Shogundo's Hyakunin Isshu is also used in the traditional "Karuta Hajime New Year's Card Game" held at Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto on January 3 every year.

Craftsman Passion

"The warmth that only handmade paper can bring"
We have maintained the traditions of the past without changing our methods.
We produce our products using techniques that have been refined over many years, taking advantage of the characteristics of each type of paper.
The handmade karuta will become more and more attractive as the years go by, giving it a warmth that only handmade karuta can provide, and will be used by our customers for many years to come.


Your Contribution to Craftsman

Customer Voice

Due to the market structure (link for full articles are attached bottom), craftsman have not known who the customer is and how customer reacts to their work. We made a “Message to Craftsman” box at purchase page. We will deliver all message to every craftsman. Our review will be also shared to craftsman so please leave your comment and evaluation on review section!

Income for Craftsman: Craftsman get only less than 10% of selling price?

As written above, craftsman have not controlled last phase of sales channel that resulting in selling price is set by third-party without craftsman’s recognition. There are some cases that only less than 10% of selling price is given to craftsman. We promise with our customer / craftsman that we offer the fair trade with craftsmen in our contract!

We made an article about above problem and our challenge. Please have a read from below link
Current state of the Crafts Market / Benefits brought by Suigenkyo



Material & Caution


Japanese paper



Individual Difference

Each piece is handmade, so there are individual differences even in the same series. We hope that you will understand the change by handmade.

Delivery Date

Please note that it will take about three months for delivery if we do not have the item in stock.

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