Kyoto’s Yasaka Shrine: New Year’s karuta card event held for 1st time in 3 years

Yomiuri Shimbun photos
Players dressed in traditional costumes match their skills in a New Year’s karuta event at Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto’s Higashiyama Ward on Tuesday.

A karuta card-matching game traditionally played at New Year’s was held at Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto’s Higashiyama Ward for the first time in three years.

Members of a group of karuta enthusiasts, dressed in the colorful costumes of the Heian period (794-late 12th century), paired up and played the traditional game on Tuesday as people making their first visit of the year to the shrine looked on.

In karuta, cards are arranged in rows on the floor, each of which matches a description or word that is called out. The object is to swipe away the matching card, and the best players do it with a stunning quickness of mind and hands