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Tensho Mekuri - Japan

Published July 03, 1996 Updated June 07, 2023

Tensho Mekuri cards hand-made by Patricia Kirk, 2003.

2003 Japan USA Patricia Kirk History Mekuri Portuguese Pattern Add to Collection

Mekuri Tensho playing cards are derived from the early ‘Dragon’ type cards of the 16th century, usually associated with cards which arrived in Japan via trading routes to Spain and Portugal. The 48-card deck consists of four suits of twelve cards each, ace through nine pip cards, a female sota, a mounted caballo and a seated rey.

Tensho Mekuri cards hand-made by Patricia Kirk, 2003 Tensho Mekuri cards hand-made by Patricia Kirk, 2003 Tensho Mekuri cards hand-made by Patricia Kirk, 2003 Tensho Mekuri cards hand-made by Patricia Kirk, 2003

Above: limited edition recreation of Tensho Mekuri cards, based on an 18th century original, hand-made by Patricia Kirk, 2003. The deck also includes a Tengu and an extra card to make a total of fifty cards. The cards are about 1½" wide by 2¼" high and 1/32 of an inch thick.

Tensho Mekuri cards hand-made by Patricia Kirk, 2003
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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

Founder and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.


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