The illegal card game that launched Nintendo - Hanafuda Explained -

The illegal card game that launched Nintendo – Hanafuda Explained

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How did Hanafuda, a centuries old card game, lead to yakuza organised crime and the founding of video game giant Nintendo, maker of Mario and Zelda? Find out as Wheels takes you through the rich japanese history of this beautiful card game. From lost Portuguese traders, to cat and mouse criminals, to the beloved Super Mario Bros. company we know today.

00:00 – Introduction
00:27 – The Sengoku Jidai
01:24 – Strange foreign cards
02:50 – The Edo period
04:07 – Japan closes its borders
04:43 – A crackdown on Western imports
05:45 – How the Hanafuda deck works
06:38 – Koi Koi
07:26 – The Yakuza
09:43 – The Nintendo Playing Card Company
12:28 – Summary

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  1. What bit of board game history would you like to see us tackle next?

  2. What piece of tabletop history would you like to see Wheels tackle next?

  3. My parents, aunts, and uncles all love this game, though I’ve never been able to memorize the differences between the cards.

  4. Oh what a coincidence! I just got a deck of hanafuda cards for my birthday!

  5. I think that I remember you mentioning hanafuda and it's history during a livestream in the past. Either that or it was Zoe ssying that you had gotten a deck of them.

  6. This was a bit of a change up- nice work though.

  7. Extremely interesting history lesson on the winding origins of gaming in numerous forms, thanks so much!

  8. This was really fascinating and I had no idea about this, thanks Wheels

  9. This was absolutely fascinating to watch. I didn’t expect to learn so much about Japanese history when I woke up today

  10. I knew that Nintendo started off as a hanafuda producing company, but I didn't know the whole history behind these cards.

  11. What brilliant content. Would love more of this kind of history video

  12. Very good work. I'd been excited about this ever since first hearing about you working on it from Matt.
    You did pretty well on the pronunciations, too. Only glaring mistake was the Shogun's name. That's actually pretty impressive.

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