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  • We would like to invite you to join ‘Karuta 2020’ project which will help people learn, create and play ‘Karuta’, a Japanese traditional card game.
  • We offer 3 programmes: Creative Karuta Award(contest), Karuta Worshop and Karuta Festival.
  • Our goal is to create a new set of karuta cards featuring the charm of 200 countries and hold a Karuta Championship in 2020, the Tokyo Olympics year.

What’s karuta? (Click)

  • Karuta is a traditional Japanese card game around a theme such as poems, proverbes and geography. We use sentence cards and the matching cards (for examle with picture) to play karuta.
  • The below photo shows a set of karuta cards themed around various countries. This is the prize for the Creative Karuta Award 2017. It has 26 sentence cards on the right and 26 matching picture cards on the left.
  • The below shows an example of sentence and mathing picture card on a subject, ‘Egyptian Culture’.The picture and English sentence were created with the Award winner in HongKong. And the contest office created, added the Japanese sentence. So you can play karuta in English or Japanese or both.

How to play Karuta

  • 1. Spread picture cards face up on mat/table.
  • 2. A card reader holds all sentence cards and players can’t see them.
  • 3. First the card reader reads aloud a sentence. For example, “Under blue sky, dance slowly with waves “.
  • 4. Players listen for clues to find the matching picture card.
  • 5. A quickest player to touch the matching picture card wins the card.
  • 6. The winner is the player with the most picture cards at the end of game.

What we offer

(1) Creative Karuta Awards, worldwide

  • This is an international contest to seek pictures & writing for everybody from children to adults.
  • The theme is ‘Share a charm of your home/favorite country’.
  • The prize is karuta cards printed with the winning work.

(2) Creative Karuta workshop, worldwide

  • A hands-on workshop will be offered worldwide to help children, adults to learn, create and play Karuta.
  • We will place trained Karuta Coordintors with schools and communities.
  • Workshops has already been offerend in Australia, Japan, New Zealand, UK, USA.
  • We will welcome other countries to invite our Karuta Coordinator.

(3) Karuta Festival, Tokyo

  • Karuta Festival is an annual event in Japan to showcase the latest karuta cards created worldwide.
  • All winning works of Creative Karuta Award will be displayed and the Award cereomony will be held.
  • We will also hold Creative Karuta Workshop and hold karuta Game.
  • Next Festival will be held in January/February, 2019.

Organizer: Karuta 2020 project team

Tammy Stewart-Jones, Honorary Chiarman, Karuta 2020

  • Is mother of UK Karuta bringing Karuta to the UK through the ‘My Thanet’ Karuta joint-project in 2012.
  • Has extensive experiences in International Development: Former International Representative of The Associated Countrywomen of the World, working with rural women worldwide to improve their living conditions, Trustee on several Charity Boards including the Fairtrade Foundation and Founder of Thanet Fairtrade Initiative.


  • Mineo Kageya, Director, FROM JAPAN Institute, Tokyo (2nd from the left)
  • Mikiko Haraguchi, Vice Chairman, Japan Kyoudo Karuta Association (centre)
  • Kazutoshi Ogimoto, Director, Suginami Karuta Project (2nd from the right)