A joint press conference for the “International Ogura Hyakunin-isshu Karuta Festival 2020” co-hosted by the All Japan Karuta Association and three municipalities that have a strong connection with competitive karuta – Otsu City (Shiga), Awara City (Fukui) and Bunkyo City（Tokyo）was held on 10 November 2019 at Omi-jingu Shrine in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture.
Representatives of the co-hosting bodies appeared on stage with the escort kids and introduced the traditional Japanese culture of “Ogura Hyakunin Isshu” including details about next year’s event.
Gakuji Ito, the Tokyo 2020 financial planning officer said: “The Olympic and Paralympic Games are not only for sport but are also a cultural festival. As mentioned in the Olympic Charter, cultural events play an important role in the Games. ‘Ogura Hyakunin Isshu’ is a traditional part of Japanese culture that has developed the competitive aspect of the game into competitive karuta. We appreciate the opportunity to carry out this competitive karuta in the three co-hosting areas like a torch relay, and to promote this wonderful aspect of Japanese culture to other areas in Japan and abroad. We hope this initiative will contribute to introducing Japanese culture to the rest of the world.”
There are currently about 1 million competitive karuta players, including students who play as part of their extra-curricular activities. Its popularity has spread outside of Japan and is played in over 17 countries abroad. Watch out for the festival featuring “Ogura Hyakunin Isshu Karuta” where different cultures and people get together and have fun through competitive karuta.
Please see below for details about the “International Ogura Hyakunin-isshu Karuta Festival 2020”.
Schedule of the “International Ogura Hyakunin-isshu Karuta Festival 2020”
Period: Saturday 23 May – Sunday 31 May 2020
Date: Saturday 23 May 2020
Venue: Omi-jingu Shrine and Omi Kangakukan, Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture
Date: Sunday 24 May 2020
Venue: Seifuso, Awara City, Fukui Prefecture
Date: Saturday 30 May and Sunday 31 May 2020
Venue: Bunkyo City, Tokyo (Civic Center and Kodokan)
Hosted by: All Japan Karuta Association
Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture
Awara City, Fukui Prefecture
Bunkyo City, Tokyo
Co-hosted by: The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games