Nintendo’s Many Video Game References to Hanafuda (and Karuta)
I really doubt this list is complete, though I did my best to include as much as I could. If I find more stuff I’ll add it, and feel free to leave a comment if you can think of anything yourself!
Update 4 September 2022 – added Pikmin Bloom
Update 22 October 2022 – added more pictures of the hanafuda boxes because they have neat art!
Appearances in Nintendo Games
Game Boy Camera Japanese version has this picture in the B Album
Pikmin 2 had you collecting real-life items, including a hanafuda deck https://www.pikminwiki.com/Talisman_of_Life
Hanafuda is available to play in both Clubhouse Games …games (as well as Clubhouse Games Express: Strategy Pack and the Japan only like, reduced version of clubhouse games called Daredemo Asobi Taizen). In the DS versions, it is called Koi-Koi, as that is the actual name of the game, and hanafuda is the name of the cards.
This card shows up in Quite Puzzled microgame from the Japanese version of WarioWare: Touched! (It was replaced by a western playing card in the international versions)
One of 9-Volt’s microgames in WarioWare Gold is based on hanafuda https://www.mariowiki.com/Hanafuda
These hanggliders in Mario Kart Tour are based on a real deck Nintendo produced, see below
There were a bunch of Hanafuda items added to Animal Crossing Pocket Camp
In Super Mario Odyssey, Bowser’s Kingdom Sticker features some Mario themed hanafuda cards. Also its industry is hanafuda cards according to the in-game map – https://www.mariowiki.com/Bowser%27s_Kingdom
The Nintendo Labo Variety Kit house has this picture of Napoleon from one of Nintendo’s hanafuda deck boxes
Digital Appearances in Other Nintendo Stuff
Streetpass Mii Plaza got a hanafuda themed speech bubble
Swapnote got hanafuda themed stationery
There were also four hanafuda 3DS themes (plus a Nintendo history one)
Hanafuda – https://youtu.be/luOe_bTo-z8
Mario Hanafuda – https://youtu.be/q3t2o_a0xyo (I love the Mario theme remix here : )
Club Nintendo Hanafuda – https://youtu.be/i8SAOq9qGWk
Pokémon Hanafuda – https://youtu.be/aO7lTu_0t8c?t=33
Tokaigi 2015 “Nintendojo” Original Theme – 闘会議2015「任天道場」オリジナルテーマ – There was a special event called Tokaigi 2015 Nintendojo where if you beat one Dojo Master you won this exclusive theme! For more info (in Japanese) about this event check out https://tokaigi.jp/2015/booth/nintendojo.html.
Nintendo’s Line Account made this calendar for January 2016, and used the other image for their background that month
Nintendo Japan wallpapers
Real-life Hanafuda Merchandise
The Game Boy Micro got a hanafuda faceplate
And so did our other faceplate wearing system, the new 3DS!
Hanafuda themed keychains that you got from pre-ordering Giftpia in Japan
Nintendo Company Guides – 2014, 2015, 2019 Huge thanks to http://blog.beforemario.com/ for documenting these!!
The entire 2014 book is based around hanafuda with many of Nintendo’s old toys drawn in hanafuda art, I highly recommend checking out the post at http://blog.beforemario.com/2014/05/a-closer-look-at-nintendos-2014-company.html to see all the photos! Here’s a sample
My Nintendo Europe offered postcards based on the Napoleon Mario deck (they also sold the deck itself at the same time) https://my.nintendo.com/rewards/70604724dabc9845
Nintendo themed Hanafuda Decks
You can find a list of hanafuda decks that Nintendo has produced here:
Of course, the best ones are the video game themed ones
We have the Mario Napoleon set
Better images at https://www.mariowiki.com/Mario_Hanafuda that link also pointed out these two promo images that have teeny little hanafuda cards, what a treat
Pokémon hanafuda deck – this set also got heavily merchandised with keychains, pins, and coasters
This set of Pokémon x Mario cards
Kirby also got a Hanafuda set ^^
Finally, Club Nintendo offered another set of Mario themed hanafuda cards – This set is unlockable to use in Clubhouse Games 51 Worldwide Classics!
In Kirby Super Star Ultra there is a sub-game based on karuta card games, a different kind of Japanese playing card
There was a first party DS game based on the karuta card game uta-garuta called Touch de Tanoshimu Hyakunin-Isshu: DS Shigureden
(thanks Torchickens 💚)
Club Nintendo Japan made an Animal crossing Karuta deck
More resources for the exceptionally interested
For more general information about hanafuda and where it’s showed up in video games over the years (and where I got a lot of info from) https://nintendo.fandom.com/wiki/Hanafuda
Both NoA and NoE have PDFs of how to play Koi-koi currently up on their websites:
https://www.nintendo.com/consumer/downloads/hanafuda_en.pdf – NoA
https://cdn02.nintendo-europe.com/media/downloads/other_1/my_nintendo_store_3/MyNintendoStore_Manual_Hanafuda_MarioCards_UKV.pdf – NoE
Play Nintendo Japan got a short webcomic about hanafuda
It has this cute art of Mario and Toad playing!
If you’re interested in Nintendo’s history with card games in general I recommend this post!
If you enjoy this stuff, I personally loved reading the Wikipedia article about karuta, which explains the many kinds of Japanese card games and where they came from : D https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karuta
There’s a bunch of not Nintendo hanafuda video games floating around too, I’m not that concerned with them, but you can find lists here https://nintendo.fandom.com/wiki/Hanafuda or here https://www.giantbomb.com/hanafuda-card-games/3015-7399/games/ if you’re interested though. I support that decision.
Bonus non-Nintendo hanafuda sighting (this is my list I make the exceptions): The Hatsune Miku Project Diva games that have Close, Open, Demons and the Dead – In the music video, there are hanafuda cards scattered on the ground
Thanks for witnessing!