I don’t mention it often, but I’m a gamer, and a lifelong fan of Nintendo. After purchasing the New Super Mario Bros. Wii game (which is fantastic, by the way), I found out that Nintendo has a reward system called Club Nintendo, where users can register their Nintendo consoles and games, and earn “coins” doing so. Among the handful of exclusive prizes available to those of us who have spent several hundred dollars on video games, the most “expensive” reward caught my eye: a set of Nintendo hanafuda cards.
Hanafuda means “flower cards” in Japanese. The cards and their associated games have a colorful history, and it’s definitely worth reading the Wikipedia article to learn more. But the interesting tidbit here is that Nintendo goes way back. They were founded in 1889 as a manufacturer of handmade hanafuda, about one hundred years before the dawn of Mario. So these cards are not merely a novelty, but a link to the past1.
Lovely pattern in the title graphic courtesy of néojaponisme.
- Get the reference? [↩]