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Hanafuda-rama!        

"Hanafuda" is Japanese for "flower cards." The Korean name is "hwa-tu," which also means "flower cards" (go figure). These fun little cards are popular in Korea and Hawaii, and can be used to play a variety of games: Koi-Koi (AKA Go-Stop), Hachi-Hachi ("Eighty-eight"), Flower Matching, and Higo Bana, to name a few.

In these pages, I share with you the Japanese and Korean rules for one of those games. The Japanese name is "Koi-Koi," and the Korean name is "Go-Stop" or sometimes "Godori." The game is practically a national pastime in Korea, yet it's not played by any of my friends in Japan (the country of the cards' origin). In Japan, the game may be stigmatized as a game played mainly by yakuza (gangsters) - although I have gotten emails from some folks who've played the game in Japan (and they say they still have all their fingers)...

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Copyright 2000-2004 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved. Reproduction by written permission of the author only.