Ogoola Karuta is a westernized version of a 400-year-old Japanese card game called Hyakunin-isshu Karuta. The game is made in different languages and also has the translation version of the original Japanese game.
Karuta is sometimes described as intellectual martial arts. It is about listening and being extremely focused and fast, just like the Samurai with their swords. Only here you fight with cards instead.
The game is comprised of two decks of cards, the Reader deck and the Player deck. Cards in the Reader deck contain short poems or poetry quotations while cards in the Player deck contain only the second part of these poems. To begin the game, a Reader is chosen (or you may opt to use the Reader app) and the players are divided into two teams sitting on opposite sides of the table or play area. The Reader shuffles the Reader deck and the Players mix, split evenly the Player deck between the teams and place them face-up in 3-4 rows in front of them. The Reader will read the complete poetry quotation on their cards and the player that finds the matching card first takes that card and puts it aside. If the card taken was on your opponent's side, you must give one card from your side to your opponent. The first team that has no cards left on their side is the winner (you must get rid of all your cards first, to win).
The game is set in Japan during the Genpei war (1180-1185). In order to win the war, you need a strategy. Place the cards you are familiar with close to you (in the beginning it is normal that none of the cards are familiar). If you know what cards your opponent is familiar with, place those cards as far as possible from them inside the playing field. Since the reader or app will always read the complete quotation, you do not need prior knowledge of the poems. Strategically place the playing cards in a way that you can find and take them quickly such as laying them alphabetically or categorize them under the same first words.
Ogoola Karuta has both the translation version of the original Japanese game and the westernized version of the game that uses poems written in that language. For example, in our first edition, we have selected 50 of the well-known classical poems written in the English language. It is the first English version of Hyakunin-isshu Karuta.