Latvia Karuta Project

English | 日本語

Welcome! Latvia Karuta Project

  • The project is to create a traditional Japanese card game ‘Karuta’ on the theme of Latvia.
  • We offer creative workshops & contests to help people create karuta cards of Latvia.
  • The aim of the project is to promote mutual understanding between Latvia and Japan through karuta.

What’s karuta?

  • Karuta is a Japanese card game which is to match texts to the picture cards.
  • The first letter of each text is printed on the corner of the matching picture card.
  • This is a bilingual game so you can play in English and Japanese.
  • We plan to create cards in other languages.

How to play karuta

  • Karuta is a game of speed. A card reader reads aloud a text.
  • And players listen to it and look for the matching picture card.
  • The first player to touch the card can take it.
  • The winner is the player with the most cards at the end of game.

Invitation to Creative Karuta Award

  • As part of the Project we would like to invite you to enter the Creative Karuta Award by submitting your drawing and writing of ‘Charms of Latvia’.
  • This is an international contest to create a set of karuta cards about 2020 Tokyo Olympic countries/regions including Latvia.
  • Open to anybody from children to adults.
  • The prize is karuta cards printed with the winning works.

What to submit

Drawing & Writing of something famous in Latvia

For example

    Face in the walls(Art Nouveau wall d?cor)

    Fairy Tale Coin – Five Cats

    Freedome monument

    Historic Centre of Riga

    Kokle (string instrument)

    Latvian mittens

    Lielvarde Belt

    Midsummer Festival

    Rund?les pils (Rund?le Palace)

    Visp?r?jie latvie?u Dziesmu un Deju sv?tki (festival)

Example of karuta cards on Latvia.

The following work was created through karuta workshop/contest.

– Use white paper of A4 size or smaller
– Use any art materials and methods
– Choose English or Japanese.
– Use 3 to 12 words in English
– Use 5 – 20 syllables in Japanese
– must be connected with your picture

How to enter

  • Send the ‘Entry Form’, picture and, ‘Writing Sheet’ to Tokyo office
  • Deadline: 31st March 2020.
  • Result announcement: May 2020. Award Ceremony: June 2020
  • Read through ‘Entry Guidelines’ before your entry.

Entry Guidelines

What is Creative Karuta Award?

  • This is an international contest to call for pictures & writing for creating a new set of a traditional Japanese card game called ‘Karuta’.
  • The prize winners will receive karuta cards with the winning works printed on each card.
  • It aims to promote karuta globally through the contest.


  • Creative Karuta Award was started to create karuta cards themed around Tokyo Olympic countries (which number is 206) and to hold an international Karura game Championship in 2020.
  • This is the final contest to complete ‘206 countries karuta’ set so we will select and award 206 works representing 206 countries/regions.

Who can take part?

  • Open to everybody worldwide from children to adults.
  • Entries from individuals or schools will be accepted.

Age Category

The total 20 works, at least 2 works from the following each age group, will be selected for this category award.

  • 7 years old or younger
  • 8-11 years old
  • 12-15 years old
  • 16-19 years old
  • 20 years old or older

Country Category

  • All entry works will be also judged by the subject’s country.
  • The only one (1) work per one (1) country will be selected so 206 works in total will be selected for this category award.
  • Please note that all entries to the Awards in last few years will be included for this category’s selection
  • This selection is made separately from the one for the age category but some works may be selected for the both category.


  • Deadline: 31st March 2020
  • Result Announcement: Early May 2020
  • Award Ceremony: June 2020, Tokyo

Entry Work

  • Submit a pair of picture and writing (called ‘Work’) representing the subject freely chosen by the applicant.
  • Multiple entries by the same applicant will be accepted.

Subject to draw and write

  • Wonderful nature, rich culture in your chosen country.
  • For example buildings, places, foods, festivals, sports and natural scenes.
  • It must be something which is well-known, represents the chosen country.


  • Use white paper less than or equal to A4 in size.
  • Any art media, materials and method can be used.
  • The picture must be the unreleased, original work created by the applicant himself/herself.
  • No computer generated images will be accepted.
  • No picture showing copyrighted images such as characters from books, movies will be accepted.


  • Choose a language, English or Japanese.
  • Write with 3 to 12 words if you choose English.
  • Write in Japanese with 5 to 20 syllables.
  • Your writing should include words which serves as a clue to find the matching picture.
  • Writing can be assisted by another person such as your family or teacher.

Judging for Age category

  • The entry work will be judged by creative karuta experts including Ms. Mikiko Haraguchi (Vice chairman, Japan Kyodo Karuta Association).
  • The judges would like to see Works with a charm that makes them feel like seeing the real ones.
  • The total 20 Works, at least 2 Works from each category, will be selected.

Judging for Country category

  • All entry work will be also judged by experts in 206 countries/regions.
  • The judges expect to see the works really representing the chosen country.

Prizes for Age Category

  • A set of Karuta cards with a winning work printed on each card.

Prizes for Country Category

  • A pair of sentence and picture card with the winner’s work printed on each card. (no karuta pack)

Results Announcement

  • By early May 2020 the only winners will be notified of the results by email.
  • The results will be also announced on Karuta 2020 website.
  • All winning entries will be displayed at the Award Ceremony held in Tokyo, June 2020.
  • All prize winners will be invited to attend the Award Ceremony and to be presented with their prizes.
  • The winners who can’t attend the ceremony will receive the prizes by post after the ceremony.

Entry Conditions

  • Regardless whether winning or not all rights in the entry works belong to FROM JAPAN Institute.
  • All entry works won’t be returned.
  • The entry works may be used partially or modified when we print Karuta cards. For example we may use only the picture or edit writing.
  • Regardless whether winning or not your entry work may be published on our websites, SSN and printed materials.

Handling of Private information

  • Any private information which we collect for the Creative Karuta Award 2019-20 will be only used for this contest.
  • Usage purposes: confirming the entry information, notifying the contest results, sending the prizes and conducting the contest smoothly.
  • Disclosure of personal information to the third parties: With the only winner’s consent of printing their name on karuta card, their name will be provided with the printing contractor.
  • Except for this case any personal information won’t be disclosed to third parties without permission of the applicant.

How to enter: Individual

  • Printforms

    See Entry Form

  • Fill in the forms

    How to fill in

  • Draw/paint a picture
  • PastetheWriting Sheeton the backside of thepicture

    How to paste

  • Sendthe forms, picture

How to enter: School

  • Printthe forms

    See the Entry Form

  • Fill inthe forms

    How to fill in

  • Draw/paint a picture
  • PastetheWriting Sheeton the backside of thepicture

    How to paste

  • Send the forms, picture

The last contest’s works


Karuta 2020 Project team
3-4-45 Shibakubo-cho, Nishitokyo, Tkyo 188-0014
Phone: +intl-81-(0)42-439-5445

Contact Form