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Published October 30, 2022 Updated November 24, 2023

Nipponia Playing Cards

Nipponia Playing Cards are a Japanese-themed playing cards featuring samurai, kunoichi and oiran. Designed by Kieran Alexander.

2015 Japan Noir Arts Kieran Alexander Ethnic & Indigenous Kickstarter Myths & Legends Add to Collection
Seal from the tuck box flap - Nipponia Playing Cards

Above: Seal from the tuck box flap.

A samurai mask featured on one of the jokers - Nipponia Playing Cards

Above: A samurai mask featured on one of the jokers.

Nipponia Playing Cards are a Japanese-themed custom deck of playing cards featuring samurai, kunoichi (female ninja), and oiran (courtesans). Kieran Alexander, a Japanese-based Australian artist, raised funds for the pack through a successful Kickstarter campaign.

The courts have double-ended illustrations with Japanese letters in each corner. The kings are portrayed as samurai, the queens as orian, and the jacks as kunoichi. The back is a shoji, which is a Japanese sliding paper door.

Nipponia Playing Cards by Kieran Alexander

Above: the box.

The aces are designed to look like Japanese house emblems, also known as kamon, while maintaining the traditional shape of the four suits.

There are two jokers, each depicting traditional Japanese samurai masks.

The pack contains 52 cards, plus 2 jokers and a gaff card. Alexander raised AU$ 7,055 (roughly £3,900) from 204 backers.

A samurai mask featured on one of the jokers - Nipponia Playing Cards

Above: A samurai mask featured on one of the jokers.

Nipponia Playing Cards by Kieran Alexander Nipponia Playing Cards by Kieran Alexander Nipponia Playing Cards by Kieran Alexander

References

  1. Nipponia Kickstarter Campaign by Kieran Alexander
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By Adam Wintle

Member since March 15, 1997

Adam has been involved in developing the site as well as reviewing new decks and conducting research. He is particularly interested in innovation, Kickstarter and East Asian cards. He is a member of the IPCS and webmaster of the EPCS.


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