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Ukiyoe Tarot Paperback – 20 Aug 2013

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£19.99 FREE Delivery in the UK. Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 78 pages
  • Publisher: U.S. Games; Crds edition (20 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0880790148
  • ISBN-13: 978-0880790147
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 6.7 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 374,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

UKIYOE TAROT DECK. Complete 78-card deck in stunning full color. Cards are numbered and titled in both English and Japanese. Traditional Japanese symbolism and full-length figures in colorful Japanese costume. The vitality, freshness and charm of the Ukiyoe Tarot deck by artist Koji Furuta captures the beautiful 'floating world' of Ukiyoe art which was popular during the 17th and 18th centuries in Japan and chronicled everyday life.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Feb. 2001
This deck is a very attractive one, the Japanese style of the pictures blends beautifully with the traditional aspects. It is really worth reading the booklet, as it gives very detailed descriptions of the origins of the design (and a couple of the cards do not have exactly traditional meanings). The major arcana cards are all lovely, very easy to read. The minor arcana cards are lovely, but less easy to read, as the numbered cards are symbolised with flowers and take a bit of looking up. But on the whole, it is a lovely deck to look at, and pretty easy to read, even for a beginner.
The stand out cards are The Devil, Justice, Death and Judgement which all have excellent detail, and bright, vibrant designs. The cards are all numbered and named in both English and Japanese, which enhances the fusion style. I would thoroughly recommend this deck, if you like Japanese style and want an unusual but workable deck.
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By Lily on 13 Feb. 2014
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Quite fancied buying this deck years ago and then it went out of print, so really pleased to have another chance. Very nice cards.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Inspired art elevates this unusual, powerful deck 3 Dec. 1999
By Susan Byers - Published on
The historical symbolism of the tarot does not make it a natural match for oriental art and cultural expression. In fact, IMHO, many of the "cross-cultural" decks are imagistic train wrecks. However, as strange as it may seem, this tarot is not only stunningly beautiful, but it really works. The traditional Waite-style images have been tweaked just enough to make sense with Japanese figures and designs, but not so much to make a mockery of each. In fact, the Buddhist/Japanese sensibility seems to highlight different aspects of each card and bring out further subtleties of the same truth -- the real value of cross-cultural enterprises. The images have a surface serenity because of the gorgeous Ukiyoe stylistics, but reveal passion and power the more one looks. The suit cards do not have pictures, but the backgrounds are very evocative of the mood of the cards. Anyone with more than just a passing knowledge of the Rider-Waite tarot will be able to recognize them and use the deck. This would be a valuable addition to any collection, though perhaps not the best choice for a first and only deck. (On the other hand, I would choose it strongly over many of the more traditional decks that have far weaker, poorly executed art and wacko symbolism.)
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
The sound of one cards shuffling... 22 Dec. 2005
By Richard K. - Published on
This vintage classic was presented long before the Tarot decks became best sellers. Not one for pop-bubble gum card enthusiasts. I would almost say this is an art deck only, that is not the case. Surprisingly accurate divination and insight can be presented. If sheer beauty is what you appreciate, then this is the Tarot for you.

Commissioned U.S. Games/Mr. Kaplan by a Japanese artist; Koji Furuta and printed in Japan in 1982, It was never intended for the "Miss Cleo" set. Indeed, it is a rare treasure among collectors today. Good luck finding a copy!

The cards are done in the always appealing Japanese silk screen style. This captures the very visual presentation of the culture that now has grown into animation and beyond. There are many contemporary decks that have been published in Japan since, most of them not available in the U.S.A. The Tarot is distinctly a European invention, as far as modern history is concerned.

The cards themselves are sturdy and hold up well with multiple reading. The backs are beautiful, with a Japanese maple leaf falling upon an autumn pond. I do not read with them any longer, though the are very conducive to a "Zen-like" mood. It is shoji screens, bamboo and fine Japanese incense(koji) on silk brocade cushions...

The images themselves are like watching Kubuki theatre unfold. The major trumps cannot be described in words. They are simple and evocative in style. Buddhist mythology is used to rapturous effects. The minors trumps are given subtle reference that skilled readers can pick up on: the 3 of wands has morning glories climbing upwards. The subtle drama is carefully played out in each card. The accompaning booklet explains some cultural difference as well as similarities.

U.S. Games has taken this and its other Asian gem the Chinese Tarot sadly out of print. Both decks really helped me out in my early career. There is the Royal Thai deck available. Serious collecters take note: U.S Games will take important decks out of print for more "fluffy-bunny" best sellers. Maybe this is good in some respects. Time will tell...
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Excellent for elegant images and floral motifs 18 Sept. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Elegant images and floral motifs in traditional woodblock print styles are highlighted and well-designed. Beautiful colors and fabric patterns. The small booklet explaining the cultural correspondences with traditional Rider-Waite imagery is very good
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The Floating World 1 Sept. 2010
By John Palmer - Published on
Verified Purchase
This is the most beautiful collection I have ever laid my hands or eyes on. Every card has such lovely colors and artistry. I could just sit and look at the cards without having to read them at all, they're so wonderful looking. Another thing I really like is that, in addition to the tarot symbology, there is also a mass amount of Buddhist symbology which runs cohesively with the tarot meanings. It's very nice. I have yet to fully learn and understand every card in the tarot deck, but this set definitely inspires me to read and research even more. It was a little pricier than I had originally planned to pay, but it was completely worth the price I paid. Absolutely stunning!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
RWS clone in Ukiyoe style 25 July 2013
By Surrounded - Published on
Verified Purchase
This deck is the brainchild of Stuart Kaplan, the owner of U.S. Games Systems, one of the major Tarot deck publishers. He had wanted to design a deck with the theme of the "Floating World" school of Japanese art, and in 1980, commissioned artist Koji Furuta to design a deck of conventional Rider-Waite-Smith imagery, done in Ukiyoe style. The Major Arcana depart from Pamela Colman Smith's designs in several instances: the "Hanged Man" is thoroughly trussed up as on some older decks, instead of hanging freely, and the "Sun" card, which uses the older image of the two children, instead of the one child riding the pony. The minors are pips, attractively laid out over floral backgrounds, in Japanese style: the wands have finials on one end, the cups resemble the soup bowls familiar to anyone who has had miso in a Japanese restaurant, the swords are katanas, and pentacles are Japanese coins. The LWB includes a short article on the history of the Ukiyoe style, describing several prominent artists.

The deck is the typical size of 2 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches. The back has a simple, reversible image of a stylized stream with leaves. Printed in Japan by Angel Playing Cards, the quality is at U.S. Games Systems' typical outstanding level. Despite the obvious effort to adhere to the Ukiyoe style, because the designs are so similar to the RWS, the deck doesn't evoke Japanese philosophy or culture as much as other "theme" decks delve into their own respective cultures. So it's simply an RWS clone, which makes the decision to do pip cards instead of copying Smith's imagery for the minors, mystifying. But for anyone looking for a deck in this style, it's the only choice.
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