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Nintendo Playing Cards Co. Ltd


In 1889, Fusajirô Yamauchi began manufacturing “Hanafuda” or “flower cards” under the brand name Nintendo Koppai. Cards were hand crafted using the bark from mulberry and mitsu-mata trees. Around 1902 the firm began producing Western style playing cards.

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Ainu culture 1979

Ainu culture

A terrific deck of cards made by Nintendo c.1979 with original designs on every card showing the Ainu, the indigenous people of Japan.

Akadama Honey Wine by Nintendo 1970

Akadama Honey Wine by Nintendo

Suntory Akadama Honey Wine playing cards manufactured by Nintendo, Japan, c.1970.



After Mekuri games such as Unsun Karuta and Tenshô Karuta were banned by the authorities, especially if played with foreign cards, their appearance was disguised.

Back to Country 1979

Back to Country

Advertising playing cards for a Japanese fashion house, with reversed colours.

Black & White Whisky by Nintendo

Black & White Whisky by Nintendo

Whisky advertising playing cards manufactured by Nintendo Playing Cards Co Ltd for Dodwell & Co., 1960s.

Chandelier No. 55 (Nintendo) 1950

Chandelier No. 55 (Nintendo)

Standard international pattern playing cards made in occupied Japan, c.1950.

Crazyrider playing cards 1985

Crazyrider playing cards

Stylised portrayal of rock musicians from the 1980s.

Ethiopian Air Lines 1969

Ethiopian Air Lines

Ethiopian Air Lines playing cards designed by Melles Habtezghi with courts wearing regional costumes, c.1969.

Fujitsu playing cards 1973

Fujitsu playing cards

Colourful advertising pack for Fujitsu Limited, reminiscent of the flower power/psychedelic era.

Glico Almond Chocolate 1967

Glico Almond Chocolate

Glico Almond Chocolate playing cards with designs by Izumi Tamai, produced by Nintendo, Japan.

Haig Whisky 1980

Haig Whisky

Japanese advertising pack for Haig Scotch whisky with modified international courts.

Hanafuda Flower Cards 2008

Hanafuda Flower Cards

Japanese Flower Cards (Hanafuda) made by Nintendo, Japan, 2008.

Industrial Bank of Japan 1972

Industrial Bank of Japan

Advertising pack designed by Yukio Hohri for The Industrial Bank of Japan.

Japanese Kurofuda 黑札

Japanese Kurofuda 黑札

The name means “Black cards”, which is especially true of you look at the suit of batons. The horse's legs can be recognised on the Cavaliers.

Japanese Playing Cards

Japanese Playing Cards

Japanese playing cards include: 'Awase' or 'matching pairs' cards and Portuguese or Spanish-derived 'Dragon' type cards.



Kabufuda playing cards manufactured by Nintendo, Japan

Kawasaki Trump 1971

Kawasaki Trump

Humorous publicity pack for Kawasaki featuring some of their many products.

Kushimoto Marine Park

Kushimoto Marine Park

Kushimoto Marine Park souvenir playing cards published by Nintendo, Japan.

Kyoto Souvenir Deck 1955

Kyoto Souvenir Deck

Kyoto Souvenir playing cards by Nintendo aimed at the up and coming tourist industry, 1950s.

Laser Clay playing cards 1973

Laser Clay playing cards

Pack promoting the Laser Clay Shooting System created by Nintendo in 1973.