OBJECTIVE OF HANAYA: Be the player with the most points after 3, 6, or 12 rounds


NUMBER OF CARDS: 48 Junior Hanafuda Cards

TYPE OF GAME: Hanafuda Fishing Card Game



Hanaya is a two player fishing game designed by Louie Mantia Jr. with the use of the Junior Hanafuda deck.  In this game, players will capture cards from the center pond in order to earn points.  Forming special sets of cards called Yaku earns extra points.  The game is played over a course of three, six, or twelve rounds depending on what is agreed upon at the beginning of the game.

To see Louie’s Hanafuda cards and a wonderful PDF of the rules for Hanaya, check out his site


 Although a standard Hanafuda deck can be used, the details for using the Junior Hanafuda deck are given here. 

Hanaya uses a 48 card deck.  There are twelve suits (one for each month), and they can be recognized by the suit symbol in the corner of the card.

The suits include January/Pine, February/Plum Blossom, March/Cherry Blossom, April/Wisteria, May/Iris, June/Peony, July/Bush Clover, August/Silvergrass, September/Chrysanthemum, October/Maple, November/Willow, and December/Paulownia.  Memorizing the suits is not necessary for enjoying the game.

The dealer shuffles and doles out five cards to their opponent, then five cards face up in a row to form the pond, and finally five cards to themselves.  The rest of the cards are placed face down in a pile to form the stock.


During the game, players are trying to capture cards from the pond.  Cards or worth points based on their type, and bonus points are earned for completing sets called Yaku.   There are four types of cards: flower, wish, spirit, and light.  The card design for each is displayed in the image below.

On a player’s turn, they may complete one of three available actions: add, swap, or capture.


If the player chooses to add, they take one card from the pond and add it to their hand.  That card is replaced with the top card from the stock.


When swapping, the player may take any number of cards from the pond.  Then, they replace them with the same number of cards from their hand.


If a player chooses to capture, they may place two or four same-suited cards face up in front of them on the table.

A player cannot hold more than seven cards.  If a player begins their turn with seven cards, they must swap or capture.

Once a player has completed their action for the turn, play passes to their opponent and continues until the pond can not be replenished.  Once there are not enough cards in the stock to bring the pond back to a total of five, the round ends immediately.

Tally of the score.  The deal alternates each round.  Play until the final round is completed.


Players only earn points for the cards captured.  They do not earn points for cards in hand.

All light cards captured are worth 20 points each.  Spirit cards are worth 10 points each.  Wish cards are worth 5 points each, and Flower cards are 1 point each. 

Each completed suit is worth 4 points.

Finally, add Yaku points:

3 Light Cards earns five points plus three more points for each additional Light card

Sake/Curtain = 2 points

Sake/Moon = 2 points

A Spirit Yaku consisting of the Boar/Deer/Butterflies earns 5 points

3 Poetry Wishes = 5 points

3 Blue Wishes = 5 points


The player with the most points at the end of the final round wins the game.  Ties are not broken.

Mark Ball
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