This deck of cards, called Hanafuda cards, feature colored designs and are used in a matching/counting game. Each of the cards has a different brightly colored decoration, for example: a small orange deer under a tree with autumn leaves; a large white moon in a red sky over a dark hill; a purple flower with a waterwork in front and red cloud above; and a red and purple bird over a purple flower (all in the photograph). The top of the case has a folded blue card that includes the rules of the game and shows an image of a woman in a kimono identified as Princess Sen (1597-1666), the eldest daughter of the shōgun Tokugawa Hidetada (1579-1632) and a popular historical figure.
Hanafuda ("flower cards") are Japanese playing cards. They come in twelve suits, one for each month; each suit is assigned a flower and has four cards. Hanafuda cards can be used in a variety of games.
This object was donated to the Boston Children's Museum by the Citizens of Kyoto, Japan in 1976 to honor the Boston–Kyoto Sister City relationship and the move of The Japanese House to Boston.