Godzilla Karuta Games


In a few days, the new Godzilla karuta game, ゴジラ 大咆哮かるた “Godzilla Roaring Karuta” by Universal Music Japan sold exclusively through TSUTAYA online shop (TRグッズ TR Goods) will start shipping on September 22. For a long time, I would see Japanese Godzilla cards during internet searches, but I didn’t know what there were part of a Japanese game called “karuta” (かるた). Karuta is a traditional Japanese card game introduced by Portuguese many centuries ago. One player reads a card while other players listen and compete to grab the right card that matches the card. The player with the most cards wins. Karuta cards are very attractive usually with beautiful illustrations. Buying a karuta game was never accessible to me until last year, when I purchased my first Godzilla karuta game. This new karuta from Universal is unique because it includes a CD with 46 Toho monster roars and super machines sounds. The reading cards are read by voice actor Kenichi Suzumura (鈴村健一), who was the voice of the character Takehiro Kai (海 建宏) in the anime Godzilla Singular Point. The game has 92 reading cards and 92 picture cards with six versions of Godzilla. This is a game to have. You can buy it from TSUTAYA through Buyee Japan.

In anticipation of the arrival of the new game and in order to make my Godzilla karuta collection as complete as possible, I acquired two older Godzilla karuta game releases by Seika Note Co., Ltd. (セイカノート株式会社). “Seika is a label centered on character stationery from Sunstar Stationery Co., Ltd. Established by inheriting the business of SEIKA Co., Ltd. (English notation: SEIKA Co., Ltd.), whose main business was the manufacture and sale of character stationery and various stationery that once existed. Seika Co., Ltd. is one of the group companies of BANDAI NAMCO Holdings (BANDAI NAMCO HD), and the head office location at the time of dissolution was 2-5-4 Komagata, Taito-ku, Tokyo” (Source: Wikipedia). Both Seika karuta games were very reasonable in price ranging from $10 USD to $50. Both are in good condition with their boxes in tact with some wear. The first is the Seika Karuta Toho Monster Godzilla and Dinosaurs (セイカ かるた【東宝怪獣ゴジラと恐竜】). The cards are beautifully illustrated. The box size is roughly 18cm x 15cm x 3cm. The original retail price was 500 yen.

The second is the Seika Karuta Toho Monster Godzilla (セイカ かるた【東宝怪獣ゴジラ】) released in 1980s. Rather than illustrations, these cards are Showa era Godzilla photographic movie stills. The original retail price was 500 yen.

Whether you collect old or new Godzilla karuta games, you will love them. They are wonderful additions for any vintage Godzilla collection. The illustrations and photographies are representative of the Showa era. Karuta games are great for reading, hearing and studying Japanese too.

Mandarake Zenbu No. 98 (まんだらけZENBU98), pp. 171, 242-43