Ogoola Karuta Poetry Game is based on the traditional Japanese poetry game called Ogura Hyakunin-isshu Utakaruta.
We believe that a game that has been played for over 400 years in Japan must be really special. So, for the first time in history, we made the game in English, German and in Swedish!
Please visit our website at http://www.ogoola.org
English Hyakuninisshu Karuta! You can play like Chihayafuru!
This English Hyakuninisshu Karuta (poetry card game) uses the original Japanese poems from Ogura Hyakuninisshu translated to English "wakas" (5+7+5; 7+7 syllables). This karuta includes card no. 51-100 (Part 2). The second half of the 100 cards.
All cards have both the Japanese original poem with a unique illustration or text, from the original karuta from Shogundo plus the English translation (by Clay MacCauley 1917) on the back of the cards. The translation strictly follows the 575-77 syllables (waka form) so you can read/sing exactly like the original Japanese waka- with its unique melody.
Card size: 7cm x 10 cm
Box: 12cm x 17cm x 4,5cm
Net weight: 322g
Karuta is sometimes described as intellectual martial arts. It is about listening and being extremely focused and fast, just like the Samurai with their swords. Only here you fight with cards instead. To begin, a reader is chosen or a reader app will be used to read the poems on the reading cards aloud. Players listen and search for the playing card with the second part of the poem being read aloud. Be the first to get the matching cards being read, to win!
Review from Japan Center Michigan State University 2020-03-09
“…really appreciated how you used the 5-7-5-7-7 syllable translations, and the reading app made it feel just as real to us as the “traditional” version of the game.”
Tip: Download the free iOS audio reader app (companion app for this game). You can use the reader app for practicing and also when you are only two persons and you need a reader. We have two reader apps. 1. Hyakuninisshu EN : This reader app sings the poems exactly like the Japanese wakas (original poems) are sung since 400 years. 2. Read Hyakunin Isshu EN: This reader app is read normally. It is easier to understand when it is read normally but the app which is sung sounds more genuine like the original Japanese poems.
The Android app will be published later this year due to the new regulations made by Google last November.
Meanwhile, for those who have an android device or a PC, you can download the audio recording of the Hyakuninisshu English translation on our homepage (www.ogoola.org). for free. You can hear the original song of the wakas and the readings. Please go to Media/Download/English. You will find the recordings there! Download an audio player for example the VLC to make your own playlist. Good Luck!
About Ogoola Karuta
Ogoola Karuta Poetry Game is the world's first Karuta using poems which originates from non-Japanese countries. Our Karutas are a variation of the traditional Japanese poetry game called Ogura Hyakunin-isshu Utakaruta.
Karuta has been played for over 400 years in Japan so we believe this is a unique and outstanding game which we want to share with the world. In 2009, for the first time in history, we started making Karutas using poetry written in languages that were not Japanese. We made the English, German and Swedish Karutas using the original significant poems (quotes) written in each of these languages. Today we are in the process of making the French and the Chinese version. In 2016 we also published the Hyakuninisshu English Translated Karuta using the translation by Clay Mac Cauley (1917). This classic translation strictly follows the Japanese waka form of 57577 syllables so it is possible to sing the poems in the same melody as the original Japanese poems. We are proud to present the recording we did of this English translation which is made into a free reader app. The English translation recording is sung and also read. This ancient game contributes to preserving culture, understanding of different cultures and sharing beautiful poems written in different countries. Needless to say, you can learn languages by having fun playing!
So what is this game about?
This game is about listening and finding FAST what you are listening to in the cards you will pick. Grab the correct cards before the others do in order to win! Known as an intellectual martial arts game in Japan. The cards have famous poetry quotes on them but no prior knowledge is needed!
For more information about the game please visit our website at
Fun and challenging game to play with friends and family. I didn't expect a game including poems to be this action filled but it truly does bring up your inner competitor! Ogoola Karuta requires you to be quick and alert at all times. It doesn't matter if you know the poems from before. I have played Ogoola approximately 20 times and still enjoy it! I really recommend the reader app as it makes it possible for everyone to join the game.
Aya Feurst Hasegawa and Ola Feurst
Founders of Ogoola Karuta
We are an international couple from Stockholm and Tokyo specialized in making Karuta in non-Japanese languages. Our company name Olayaselection derives from our names Ola and Aya. We met at a meditation festival. We love to dance, play music, sing, read, play games and meet interesting people. We also love to cook and we are vegans who care about animals and our planet.
We live on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea with our beloved dog, Heyla. Ola is a marketing professor at Uppsala University, Campus Gotland and spends most of his free time together with me, working on our poetry project.