Welcome! {ioc_countries2[1]} Karuta Project

  • The project is to create a traditional Japanese card game ‘Karuta’ on the theme of {ioc_countries2[1]}.
  • We offer creative workshops & contests to help people create karuta cards of {ioc_countries2[1]}.
  • The aim of the project is to promote mutual understanding between {ioc_countries2[1]} 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 this Project we would like to invite you to enter the Creative Karuta Award by submitting your drawing and writing of ‘Charms of {ioc_countries2[1]}’.
  • This is an international contest to create a set of karuta cards about 2020 Tokyo Olympic countries/regions including {ioc_countries2[1]}.
  • 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 {ioc_countries2[1]}

For example











Example of karuta cards on {ioc_countries2[1]}.


– 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.
  • 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