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Koreans playing hanafuda

gosapo beach south korea hanafuda japanese card game

Korean hanafuda

I frequently see Koreans playing games with Japanese hanafuda cards. Alcohol is always involved, usually large amounts of soju. According to Wikipedia, “in South Korea, the cards are called Hwatu (화투)” and “the name literally translates as battle of flowers.” Two of the most common Hwatu games are Go-stop (고스톱) and Seotda (섯다). Again, according to Wiki, “Hwatu is very commonly played in South Korea during special holidays such as the Lunar New Years, and also during the Korean holiday of Chuseok (추석).” I haven’t seen it limited to these occasions. It is hard to not go for a hike, take a bike ride, or just walk past a park in the neighborhood without seeing a group of Koreans playing. If only I could speak Korean; I could join in…

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