Saturday, 15 January 2011

Okinawa Dialect Karuta

Recently we visited a shop that specializes in ceramics by the Swedish designer Lisa Larson (click here to see examples of her work).While browsing I came across this version of the card game 'Karuta', designed by the company Toy Roadworks, which is based on the Okinawa dialect.

The game involves matching picture cards containing a single hiragana character with a card containing a phrase beginning with that character. The picture cards are laid out face up and the phrases read out in turn, the players must then try to spot and pick up the corresponding picture card.

It's a very simple game but good fun, especially after a drink or two! I was really attracted to the bright, bold woodblock print style and the slightly surreal depictions on the cards. The company also makes all sorts of weird and wonderful papier-mache toys, you can check out their website here.

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