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Monster trading cards in Japan date as far back as the 1600's!
Much like Pokémon cards today, the tradition of battling monster cards is a tradition in Japan that dates back hundreds of years!
Obake karuta is a Japanese card game that dates back to the Edo period and remained popular until the 1920’s. To put that into perspective, the Edo period began in 1603!
Each playing card has a different character from the hiragana syllabary and a creature from Japanese mythology. Obake karuta means “ghost cards,” or “monster cards.”
The point of the game is similar to Pokémon cards today, except one must know Japanese mythology pretty well. Players attempt to collect cards that match the clues given to beat the other person while a referee judges who wins!