Whisky advertising playing cards manufactured by Nintendo Playing Cards Co Ltd for Dodwell & Co., 1960s
Suntory Akadama Honey Wine playing cards manufactured by Nintendo, Japan, c.1970
Special cartoon playing cards designed to accompany Nintendo's Mario series of computer games
The court cards have become abstract forms with almost no visible indication of what suit they belong to. The idea was to disguise their appearance after Mekuri games such as Unsun Karuta and Tenshô Karuta were banned by the authorities, especially if played with foreign cards.
Kabufuda playing cards manufactured by Nintendo, Japan
Japanese Flower Cards (Hana Fuda) made by Nintendo, Japan, 2008
In general terms, Japanese playing cards are of two types: 'Awase' or 'matching pairs' cards and Portuguese or Spanish-derived 'Dragon' type cards. These have dragons on the aces and are believed to have originated in Spain, Italy or Portugal.