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Hyakunin Isshu (百人一首) is list of wakas written by 100 famous waka poets. They are cards that have writing on them. There are 200 cards divided into two groups – 100 Yomifuda cards and 100 Torifuda cards.
Hyakunin Isshu as a game[change | change source]
Karuta is the most popular game. A reader reads Kaminoku (the upper words) and Shimonoku (the lower words), and the players compete to see how fast they can pick the matching card. The Kaminoku is not written on the cards, so the players who memorize the Kaminoku have an advantage. The player who can get the most cards wins.
The beginning words are 5,7,5 (about 17 characters), called Kaminoku. The second part are 7,7, called Shimonoku.