Concours de dessin Karuta 2020

News:The deadline was extended to 31st March 2020.

What's karuta?

What is Karuta?

  • Karuta is a traditional Japanese card game around a theme.
  • We use text cards and matching cards (for examle with picture) to play karuta.
  • The below photo shows a pack of karuta cards themed around various countries. This is the prize for the Creative Karuta Award 2018.
  • It has 30 sentence cards on the right and 30 matching picture cards on the left.
  • The below shows an example pair of sentence and mathing picture card on a subject, 'Hula Dance', USA
  • The picture and sentences were created with a secondary school student in Japan. The winner submited a clue in Japanese.
  • And the contest office created, added the English sentence to make the karuta bilingual.

How to play Karuta in English

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

10 Steps to the Award

Rules of Participation

Invitation :

  • Children and adults are invited to submit their drawing and text about an Olympic country.
  • The winning works will be used to print a Japanese card game ‘Karuta’, which is the prize of the contest.


  • Choose a country from among the 206 Olympic countries and draw something famous of the country (for example: buildings, mountains, festivals, foods)
  • Use white A4 (210×297mm) or smaller paper
  • Any art media, method can be used but each drawing must be handmade, original, non-published
    and created by the participant himself.
  • No drawing showing copyrighted images will be accepted.


  • Write a text (clue) connected with your drawing.
  • Write in English (3-12 words) or in Japanese (5-20 syllables)
  • Writing can be assisted by others (parents, teachers)


  • One work per one country, the total 206 works will be selected by karuta experts and others including Ms. Mikiko Haraguchi (Vice chairman, Japan Kyodo Karuta Association).
  • The result will be announced on the Karuta 2020 website in December 2020.


  • Printed karuta cards

Other Conditions

  • Please note that all submitted works to the last contests will be included for this selection.
  • The submitted works won’t be returned and may be used partially or modified when we print Karuta cards (eg. use only the picture)
  • Regardless whether winning or not: All rights of the submitted works will be reserved by FROM JAPAN Institute. Your works also may be published on our website, SSN and printed materials.
  • Any private information which we collect will be only used for the contest.


  • Karuta 2020 Project Team (FROM JAPAN Institute, Japan Kyodo Karuta Association and Suginami Karuta Project)

How to enter: Individual

  • PrintEntry Form‘ and ‘Writing Sheet’

    See Entry Form

  • Fill in ‘Entry Form’ and ‘Writing Sheet’

    How to fill in

  • Draw/paint a picture on white paper (A4 or smaller)
  • PastetheWriting Sheeton the backside of thepicture

    How to paste

  • Send the (1)Entry Form (2) picture and (3) Writing Sheet (on the backside of the picture)

How to enter: School

  • PrintEntry Form‘ and necessary number of the ‘Writing Sheet

    See the Entry Form

  • Fill inEntry Form‘ and ‘Writing Sheet’

    How to fill in

  • Draw/paint a picture on white paper (A4 or smaller)
  • PastetheWriting Sheeton the backside of thepicture

    How to paste

  • Send the (1)Entry Forms (2) pictures and (3) Writing Sheets (on the backside of the picture)

Frequent questions

When do pepole play karuta in Japan?
Traditionally we play karuta on New Year’s day when family members get together. As part of primary/secondary school curriculum children play karuta at school because karuta is an educational card game with a theme such as literature, geography. Karuta is also played for Karuta Game Championship held in communities nationwide.
My child is just 3 years old so she cannot write words yet. Can I create writing for sentence card on behalf of him?
Yes. You can write sentence on behalf of him.
But you cannot help her drawing. The picture must be the original work created by the applicant without someone’s help.
I love drawing. But I am Russian and cannot write in Engish or Japanese. Can I enter the contest?
Yes. Please ask your teacher, family or friend to create writing on behalf of you.
Can I submit the picture by email?
No. We wil not accept any entry by email. Please submit your work by post.
How can I know the results?
First we will send an email to the winners by early May 2020. We are afraid the emails will be sent to the only winners. The results will be also announced on Karuta 2020 website in May 2020.
Is my work returned if my work is not selected for the Award?
We are afraid ‘No’ because of many entries.


  • ‘Creative Karuta Award 2019-20’
  • Phone: +intl-81-(0)42-439-5445

Download Flyer(PDF)

Winning Works of the last contest

Winning works of Creative Karuta Award 2018(創作かるた賞2018受賞作品)

The following karuta cards were created with the winning works of the last contest, Creative Karuta Award 2018.