Beautiful ukiyo-e tarot cards are East-meets-West in more ways than one

Image: Twitter/@AngelicoLuce

TOKYO —

Although the history of tarot cards stretches back to at least the 15th century, the popular divination tools didn’t become well-known in Japan until after World War II. But despite their late arrival in the country’s popular imagination, the cards of the Major and Minor Arcana still look incredibly cool when given a Japanese makeover.

The Japanese Internet has recently been gushing over the Ukiyo-e Tarot set, which replaces the Western medieval or Renaissance-style artwork so commonly found on the cards with illustrations employing the motifs of ukiyo-e, Japanese woodblock prints that reached the height of their popularity during the final days of the Shogunate in the early 19th century.

Whereas the suits of orthodox tarot cards are often designated as swords, wands, pentacles, and cups, those of the ukiyo-e set bear the images of katana, shakujo (Buddhist monk staves), dosen (Japanese coins), and sakazuki (sake cups).

But while the Ukiyo-e Tarot are causing a buzz in Japan, they’re actually produced by an American company: Connecticut-based U.S. Games Systems. Nevertheless, their aesthetics have enchanted fans in Japan, who appreciate the tip of the hat to Japan’s most recognizable artistic movement.

The Ukiyo-e Tarot are available through Japanese online retailer Rakuten here, priced at 2,862 yen, and can also be ordered directly from U.S. Games Systems here for US$21.95.

Source: Japaaan

Read more stories from RocketNews24.
These 19th-century Japanese miniature landscapes show that size isn’t everything
Artist recreates famous Japanese ukiyo-e paintings using fine wines
The Artist’s Daughter: the girl behind Hokusai’s prints

Login to leave a comment

OR
Nishimachi International School Outreach Scholarship- In Concert!

Nishimachi International School Outreach Scholarship- In Concert!

Nishimachi International SchoolInternational Schools

Nishimachi Open Campus and School Tour

Nishimachi Open Campus and School Tour

Nishimachi International SchoolInternational Schools

4th Outreach Scholarship Walkathon

4th Outreach Scholarship Walkathon

Nishimachi International SchoolInternational Schools

Special Offers

Work
in Japan

Search the Largest English Job Board in Japan.

Find a Job Now!

More in Arts & Culture

View all

View all

Find Your
Apartment
in Japan

10,000’s of properties available today!

Search