An exhibition of original illustrations from Chihayafuru was held in Awara.


Chihayafuru is a well-known Japanese manga for young people written and illustrated by Suetsugu Yuki. The story is about Ayase Chihaya, the heroine, and her friends, who bet their youth on competitive karuta. Among her friends, there’s a boy named Wataya Arata who’s very good at competitive karuta. Chihaya calls him the god of karuta. (I wrote about the history of karuta and competitive karuta(I watched the competitive karuta tournament (The 51st National Women’s Competitive Karuta Tournament) in Awara, Fukui prefecture.) in previous posts.) read more

The 51st National Women’s Competitive Karuta Tournament in Awara, Fukui prefecture.


My sleeves are like rocks

far out into the sea.

Even at low tide

they cannot be seen

by anyone,

nor will they ever dry.

(Lady Sanuki)

(Translated by McMillan Peter.)

This poem is one of the poems in the Hyakunin Isshu, and it was composed over 800 years ago by a lady. She compares her sleeves to rocks under the sea. She’s tormented by romantic feelings, and her sleeves are wet with tears. read more