Monthly Suits


Every month, it’s my goal to give you a little more backstory into each of the suits and a little tid-bit on the cards. This month, we are looking at the artwork for July.

July’s suit, or hiki, is the Japanese bush clover which is a summer annual flowering plant. It is listed as the first of the Seven Autumn Herbs in Japanese culture, even though it is technically a tree. (Photo Credit: Tamago Moffle) A quick image search will reveal that this plant is a favorite decorative element outside of the hanafuda universe and can be found decorating Japanese hand fans, sliding shoji,  kimono and in traditional Japanese flower arrangement ikebana.


Throughout the Modern Hanafuda deck, all the tanzuki, or red ribbon cards, look a little different compared to your more classic hanafuda card set (Hanafuda Card Credit: Andy). My artistic license on this particular pattern within the set was inspired by a my favorite Japanese wind chime called Fūrin. These beautiful chimes come in all shapes, colors, materials, and sizes while maintaining a sharp and pleasing tone. Personally I loved the glass blown versions (See image above) and knew very early on in the design process that I wanted to incorporate the wind chimes with the poetry ribbons.

The last card depicts the wild boar and is one of the 13 animals in the Japanese zodiac. As I have stated before, I was very fortunate to study in Japan during the Summer of 2007. This coincided with the Year of the Boar and so I picked up a chopstick holder to remember the occasion. It just so happens, this guy is also the inspiration for my interpretation of the wild boar hanafuda card.

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