Let's Play Hanahfuda . . . Hawaiian Style!

Grandparents and Kūpuna Day on April 11, 2018 was a joyful day on campus!  Students were having such fun engaged in activities with their kūpuna!  The students of Po'e Ka'ahele had a very special activity for Grandparents Day.  They learned how to play Hanafuda!  Hanafuda is a traditional Japanese card game that means "flower cards."  They learned how to play from Aunty Helen, an expert in Hanafuda from her organization Hanafuda Hawaii. . . they had so much fun they decided to create an Assembly and teach everyone how to play Hanafuda!

Aunty Helen was at assembly to share her love of playing Hanafuda.  She said her interest in Hanafuda started with her 5-year old granddaughter.  She wanted her granddaughter to learn about her Japanese heritage.  She wanted to do an intergenerational fun activity that creates an opportunity for grandparents to feel younger as they play with their grandchildren and the grandchildren can enjoy learning from their grandparents.

The traditional Hanafuda cards have Japanese plants, flower and animals.  Aunty Helen wanted to make it more relevant to Hawaii children so she designed, with the help of her artist son, a set of Hanafuda cards called Hanafuda Nā Pua Hawaii.  Hanafuda Hawaiian style features plants, flowers and animals that are endemic to Hawaii or brought over by canoe. Aunty Helen talked about the "ike" or knowledge that is acquired by playing Hanafuda, and our kuleana or responsibility to share our knowledge and Malama our earth and its resources

The Po'e students showed how to play the game, how to win points, sang a song to the tune of "One little, Two little Three Little Indians," in which the lyrics were all the plants and flowers of the Hanafuda Hawaiian deck.  It's a very game that requires strategy, math, and good observation!