“Fighting sport on the tatami” Heated karuta competition in Japan


“Fighting sport on the tatami” Heated karuta competition in Japan

Speaking of
“fighting sports on the tatami”
will you think of Judo?
It is an olympic event and one of a sports played on the tatami.

But on the other hand, there is another heated game on the tatami in Japan.

It is a competition called
“Kyogi-karuta (competitive karuta)”.
“Karuta” is a Japanese traditional card game.

At first, cards written a waka (Japanese poetry) should be separated to
“Yomi-fuda (reading cards)” and
“Tori-fuda (getting cards)”.
Tori-fuda should be separated randomly on the tatami.

Players should sit around Tori-fuda.
When a Yomi-te (reader) read a “Yomi-fuda”, players should find and
get a paired “Tori-fuda” with a read “Yomi-fuda”.

“Karuta” is often played with family members and friends at home and school.
But “Kyogi-karuta” is a serious game.

Players need a sense of speed and an instantaneous force to get cards faster than others, so that this is called
“fighting sport on the tatami”.

On January 2017, a “Kyogi-karuta” competition was held in Morioka,
a northern region of Japan, and there were heated fights.

Since ancient days, Japanese people have been with the tatami.
On the tatami, there isn’t only a relaxing place, but also a fighting place sometimes.