Participants in the game of Karuta (かるた, from the Portuguese carta, "card") must quickly determine which one out of an array of cards placed in front of them is required and then to grab it before the opponent. Each of the cards contain the last two lines of a tanka, and they must identify which one suits with the verses readen aloud by the conductor. The poems are from the Hyakunin Isshu, an anthology composed by the poet and scholar Fujiwara no Teika at the beginning of XIII century. This set of photos were taken during the karuta contest at the Yasaka shrine on January 3, 2008.
Flickr slideshow »