A few years ago, I went to Japan for the first time, at that time I had the chance to go to Toyo university for a summer cultural bootcamp if I may say. While studying Japanese language and culture we had the chance to participate in a Karuta workshop. I only knew this game from anime and it was really niche for me. For people who don’t know what is “Karuta” it’s a traditional Japanese game where you need to be the fastest to find the card with the illustration tied to the poetry the referee is reading. It’s quite fun but can be really hard. It’s a game of memory, speed and knowledge.
Anyway, after a few years I got my first game sent by the Karuta 2020 organisation and it was kind of a prototype with the cards we created at that workshop. And a few years later, this year to be exact, the official game is out, this is supposed to be used in the Olympics to promote Karuta as an Olympic sport and cultural treasure. My card is officially the one representing Belgium and I’m proud of it (even tho my drawing skills are awful, I’m sorry). This is the one you can see on the picture.Thank you again for this opportunity and for your gift.
“We would like to congratulate you on the success of the “Karuta 2020” project. We are very happy to see the “L”/”き” cards of the painting, which shows the beautiful and quiet winter scenery of Switzerland in contrast with the colourful balloons. Thank you very much for adding such a beautiful view of Switzerland to a big project with more than 5000 participants. We would like to express our sincere thanks to Mr Wu and the project team. “ (translated by the project team)
The picture “illustrated the cultural diversity that Malaysia is proud of – this was seen in the different kinds of food that were displayed and enjoyed by Malaysians who are from different cultural backgrounds, living in harmony. The strong color choices and shading technique were also admirable.”
“Thank you so much for this award for which I am extremely happy. It’s a great opportunity given to be creative and at same time learn about various countries and the cultures. I am very proud to be part of global Karuta 2020 projects! Regards and best wishes for future projects.”
I am so happy to see so many children from all over the world take part in this wonderful project. The Olympic Games are a great opportunity for people from different cultures and beliefs to connect on a global level and feel that we are all one family.
The children’s drawings for the Karuta 2020 Project are all very unique and illustrate something interesting from their country. It is quite fun to look at them all and get to know these children through the cards. I cannot wait to play the Karuta game with friends.
I hope that in the future children will continue to connect the world by participating in such activities. I wish everybody to stay healthy and happy during these difficult times. And also the best of luck to all athletes at the Tokyo Olympic Games!
Elena Kutsarova Interpreter, Culture Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Japan