I like to set myself little projects from time to time and so I decided to celebrate my love of Hanafuda by designing my own deck (if only I could get them printed). In absence of any real professional design tools, I decided to use MS Excel for all design aspects of the cards. What you see to the left is my finished deck (quality has degraded a bit, as I saved the images as jpegs via Paint).
Some of the suits follow a traditional style, whilst others are a little bit more unorthodox. I tried to give each suit a colour scheme which apart from being aesthetically pleasing, it would also help beginners to identify the cards more easily. I toyed with the idea of including numbers on the cards to identify suits, in the manner that some Korean produced decks do. However, I decided that the numbers might have looked intrusive and it would go against the whole look and feel of what Hanafuda should be about.
One thing I did borrow from Korea was to use a symbol to identify the 5 'Brights'. On Korean decks the Chinese character for 'Light or Bright' is used and in Japan this character is called 'Hikari'. In place of the Chinese character, I used an eight pointed star as '8' is considered lucky in Japanese culture for it gives an idea of growing prosperous, because the letter (八) broadens gradually. It also forms a nod to the origins of Hanafuda - that the games were generally always played for money.