Hana Fuda & Divination...


...here's hoping I get permission to copy a wonderful post that someone kindly made reference...

I can at least post a link to what Hana Fuda is...which was derived from a kind of 52-54 card Portugese gambling card game said to have been at the Nagasaki port--maybe tarock-style, but likely more similar to playing card suits that was disguised and morphed under repressive restrictions in Japan (no Western foreign interaction) into a very Asian game of flowers, birds, and seasonal motifs.


Similar poetry card or shell games exist in old Japanese culture and as some have said, it's an old fashioned custom that might be hard to find outside of schools--it might not even be known among the overseas descendents of such families.


An old thread, but a perfect title for a new discussion I hope.

I'm wondering about Hana Fuda with Tarot.

If you know your flowers and perhaps the language of flowers, and you know a bit about the history of the Hana Fuda deck, and understand the relevance that these flowers have in Japanese culture, is it possible to read with them or use them for timing along with Tarot cards in readings?

The simplest way that I can think of is to do a Tarot reading (with Tarot deck) and to give the client details of when events will happen a Hana Fuda card could be pulled. The cards cover the months of the year, and if you follow the points system as well then a card with 10 or 20 points as opposed to one with 1 or 5 points could make the event more successful. The system is a little flat, and I would like to pull more out of these lovely cards. Any suggestions?


My only idea involves poetry

All of the motifs in their season -- whether animal, plant -- have lots of poetic references. Hagi or bush clover for the Japanese July would be a great google search and poetry or image motifs could spark creative references.

Of course, for July, I saw a boar and if this was pulling from Japanese depending on Chinese astrology--- you could look up the animal and reference. In some months, a bird like a swallow or plover would not have an astrological Chinese year--but you could take the poetic reference. A swallow would be domestic and sometimes aligned with bamboos. A plover would have winter and seaside associations.

So by association, one can divine more--but it is a creative way of reading, not a formal divination method. Still, it could be a lovely touch.




How unusual. I don't have this deck, but found the video really interesting. I suppose you could arrive at sets of four by other methods, but what struck me was that in the final (3) sets each set had two cards which were the same. Also one card in each set just had a banner with writing. It seemed to me that only the top animal cards were 'read'.

Perhaps some other spread could be devised whereby if two cards with the same image appeared, it would have a meaning different to if only one of them appeared. And the written-banner cards....... I wonder what they say?

Bee :)


Just found a deck. Bought it!

It's not the 48 korean one, it's a 52 card deck with the Hana Fuda card pics inset in the playing cards. So I'll have both! :) very pleased.

Bee :)


I'm sure that a better method could be devised. At this point in time I think Cerulean is right in that some research into the flora on the cards could give meanings, plus the months could give timings, and some background into Japanese culture/traditions/myths maybe. I've always been driven to play with these little tiles, I absolutely love them. I've been meaning to try out one of the games played with the deck, and I will one day if I can find cooperative players.

Here's a site for the rules to 'Matching Pairs' and 'Koi Koi':


It also includes the history and list of cards.


Oh dear Bee, I'm enabling just lately. I've seen the card ones on a link Gregory gave me once. I hope you enjoy them. :)


I love links! thank you.

Managed to get a wee sample pic of these cards. I got it wrong in my earlier post, the full size cards have hana fuda pics with playing card insets.



  • hanafuda_.jpg
    34.3 KB · Views: 1,630