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How to do Hanafuda fortune-telling (history, characteristics, tips, how to read and study the meanings)

Do you know about Hanafuda(flower cards)? This card game has been played in Japan since the 1600s. Japanese gangsters loved to gamble with flower cards and were often banned from playing in Japan.



Hanafuda has attracted many people because of its beautiful and gorgeous designs, and many people in Korea and China play Hanafuda. I have shown Hanafuda to people from many different countries, and many of them are very interested in these mysterious and fascinating cards. In Egypt, we talked about Hanafuda all the way on the moving train.

Me explaining hanafuda to the Egyptians


I have developed a fortune-telling technique using these Hanafuda cards, and in this article I will introduce Hanafuda fortune-telling.


History of Hanafuda fortune-telling


Compared to other divination techniques, Hanafuda fortune-telling has a shorter history and has hardly been systematised.Hanafuda itself is shallow with a history of about 200 years, and there are few books and information that “fortune-telling was done using Hanafuda” because it was prohibited by law on the way.Although it is certain that “it was done”, it is not known who did the divination, how and for what purpose.

There is little tradition or coherent system.Perhaps due to the underground nature of Hanafuda, there are few people who claim to be the originators of Hanafuda fortune-telling, so it is doubtful if someone says that he or she is the originator. In a word, it is a mysterious fortune-telling.However, Hanafuda itself was a game “to measure luck”, and it seems to make sense to use Hanafuda to see one’s fortune.


Features of Hanafuda fortune-telling


Hanafuda fortune-telling has a mysterious charm that attracts people.

It’s good at divining feelings.

It’s often accurate when divining one-shot matters such as love, money and work.

It’s also very accurate when divining short-term matters rather than long-term ones.


I actually told my fortune when I had a PCR test for my return from Egypt; if the PCR was positive, I would not be able to return to Japan. Before the test results came out, I divined the hanafuda and the PCR test result came out as ‘negative’. The fortune-telling was right on target and I was able to return to Japan safely. In this way, Hanafuda fortune-telling shows its true value when you have to make a choice between passing and failing the test.


Me, happy that my fortune-telling was right.




How to do Hanafuda fortune-telling


Hanafuda fortune-telling can be roughly divided into two ways.


Fortune-telling from the pattern



This is a method of fortune-telling based on the inspiration received from the picture pattern. This method is more suitable for people who can verbalise more easily from their senses.

In Japan, you can get hanafuda of characters such as Mario, Pokemon, Jojo, Dorohedoro, Oni no Kai, Dragon Quest and Kirby the Star. If you associate something more easily with a particular anime or manga, then divination by way of associating it with a hanafuda pattern would be more suitable.


Divination using a system


Hanafuda represents the seasonal cycles of the 12 months with flower patterns.If you are not good at reading with your senses, if you are not inspired, if you are prone to blurriness in your divination, or if you are new to divination in the first place… it may be easier to use this system of seasonal cycles in Hanafuda.

Japan has four distinct seasons. You can tell whether the theme you are currently divining is ‘spring’ or ‘winter’… whether it will be warmer or colder…

The method of divination using the system is based on the images of the months and seasons on the Hanafuda cards. (I call it the ‘developmental convergence method’).

The system itself is very simple and once you have memorised the cards and the seasons, you can easily divine. Even if you don’t remember it, you can easily divine by reading a book.




Instead of drawing many cards, devise a question so that you get a clear answer in one question, and you will often get it right.

Hanafuda fortune-telling works better if you have a strong desire to know. Therefore, if you draw Hanafuda many times, your desire to know will weaken and you will not be able to get a correct answer.

In other card fortune-telling methods such as tarot cards, there is a method called “spread” in which several cards are arranged in a row, but it seems that such a method of “fortune-telling comprehensively with several cards” is not suitable for Hanafuda fortune-telling. (This is only the author’s impression)

It is very useful for love, victory, things that can be quickly and easily resolved in a short period of time, desires and people’s feelings, but it often goes off when it predicts ambiguous themes that are difficult to change or long-term themes.


How to study and practise Hanafuda fortune-telling?


This can be said for other types of divination as well, but you have to tell fortunes anyway.If you want to be able to swim and keep reading “swimming books”, you will never be able to swim. The only way is to jump into the pool or the sea and swim.

It is important to make your own “Hanafuda fortune-telling notebook” and record the day you tell your fortune, the theme you tell your fortune about, the cards you get, and the results in a straightforward manner, and “accumulate a sense”.

Some of them may not be right, but the accuracy and interpretation will change as you do it over and over again. Keep accumulating actual fortunes.

First of all, if you read ‘Hanafuda Fortune-telling Basic’, you will easily understand how it works and how to do divination.

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Have fun with it!


Nishikei (Keiichiro Nishida)

I have done divination in 20 countries around the world. I mainly use palmistry, feng shui and yin-yang divination. However, I use a variety of different divinations depending on the client’s concerns.

Divination with Japanese traditional Card (Hanafuda)

I have written a book on Hanafuda(Flower card) divination, available on Kindle.

Hanafuda Fortune-telling Basic

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