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KANJI puzzle


How to play

HOME | How to play(rules)


There are 2 ways to decide the winner/loser of the game.

Before you begin the game, decide with everyone which rule to use to decide the winner - <1> Quickie Rule or <2> Strategic Rule.
The strategy/approach to proceeding & winning the game will be different depending on the rule you choose to adapt.


Preparation (before game)  

Shuffle cards well, and deal 10 cards in total (= a hand) to each player. The remaining cards (= deck) are placed face down in front of everyone.
* You can reduce no. of cards in hand if playing Part 1 or 2 separately, or if you have a large no. of players (keep the no. of cards in hand between 8 to 12).



  • 1 player draws 1 card from the deck of cards.


  • When you manage to collect 3 cards to form a prefecture name, show it to everyone by placing the completed set near the deck.

  • 奈良県カード


nara of japan



  • If you cannot form a prefecture name using cards in your hand, then discard 1 card.

* Other players can grab a card you discarded to complete a prefecture name (= “Grab-it! rule”).

  • The next player repeats Steps 1 – 3, and so on. When all deck cards are gone, then the game is over and it’s time to decide the winner!


card of kanji

* The red-colored area of the Japan map on your card can be a big clue to completing a set, because it means the kanji letter on that card is in fact included in the name of the red prefecture.
If you decide to use all 120 cards to play a game instead of dividing the cards into 2 parts, then the white areas also will give you a hint.

 About Grab-it! rule:


Players will have a chance to grab a discarded card to complete a prefecture name using cards in hand. Show the completed name to everyone!

  1.  ”Grab-it! rule” applies only when 1 more card is needed to complete a prefecture name.

  2.  Players have time to grab a discarded card only until the next player finishes drawing a card from the deck.

  3. Players other than the one who discarded a card can grab a discarded card.

  4. Player who grabbed the card will need to discard 1 card from their hand.

  5. When you grab a discarded card, you need to say out loud “Grabbin’!”. The player who clearly said “Grabbin’!” first will be eligible to grab the discarded card.

  6. The card that the “grabber” discards can also be grabbed.

  7. The order of gameplay won’t change even after “Grab-it!” rule is used (i.e. the right to draw a card next won’t move to the player sitting next to the “grabber”).

tottori of japan

 Completing a game
-deciding winner/loser-

There are 2 ways to decide the winner.

 Quickie Rule

Show everyone a prefecture name each time you complete it, and the first player to have zero card in hand will be the winner!
If no player is able to lose all cards in hand by the end of game, then the winning order can be decided by the player with the least no. of cards in hand.
  • 茨城県カード
This rule can be perfect for those who want to play speed-focused game round since you won’t need to calculate scores like you do in 《2》Strategic Rule.

Strategic Rule

In the instruction sheet, you will find the score for each combination pattern of KANJI letters/parts to complete a prefecture name.
Game played under 《2》”Strategic Rule” will look at the total score of each player to decide the winning order. Add all scores of the completed prefecture names at the end of the game round, and the player with the highest score will be the winner!

Japanese prefectures
* Sample score chart in the instruction sheet
The prefecture names that are hard to complete have higher scores. So, it’s up to you to set your winning strategy to focus on completing the prefecture name with higher scores while carefully monitoring the scores & card combinations of other players.
If you have plenty of time to play this game, then this rule will be perfect because players can take time to think & act carefully, which is the most fun part of this card game that everyone will enjoy! The right strategy & tactics are required if you choose this rule!


Score calculation method

It’s easy to calculate scores.




 “No. of kanji letters in pref. name” × “No. of cards required to complete a name” × 10 = Score

  •  Kumamoto (熊本)

  • There are 2 kanji letters (熊 and 本) in the name “Kumamoto (熊本)”, therefore:

    2 letters × 3 cards × 10 = 60 pts

  • Kagoshima (鹿児島)

    There are 3 kanji letters (鹿, 児 and 島) in the name “Kagoshima (鹿児島)”, but the final score depends on how many cards you used to complete the name – 4 or 5 cards, therefore:

    3 letters × 4 cards × 10 = 120 pts

    3 letters × 5 cards × 10 = 150 pts


Kyushu region map
From left to right Kyushu region,Chugoku region and Shikoku region

 "Card Game JAPONICA" Series

 The 47 Japanese prefectures version

Series 1

The 47 Japanese prefectures version
 Age group: ages 10 and over


 Sengoku busho version

Series 2

 Age group: ages 12 and over
*“Sengoku-busho” means the Japanese generals from Sengoku period (= the Age of Warring State).


 Card Game "Babies?"

Series 3 

Card Game BABIES?
 Age group: ages 8 and over