Moekana are a set of cards to help folks learn the basic Japanese syllabary: hiragana. The cards feature the characters of the TV show and website produced by Danny Choo called Culture Japan who are, Mirai Suenaga, Haruka Suenaga and Kanata Hoshikawa.
The pack of 50 different Moekana cards feature cute kawaii illustrations by the Japanese artist Ikkyuu - the adorable artwork alone is enough to help learners learn hiragana but there are many ways one can also use the cards to start learning Japanese.
How to play Moekana
There are many games that one can play with the Moekana cards but the official game that will be played at tournaments is called "Moekana" and the rules are as follows.
Remove the "Wo" [を] card (because you cant make words with it) and the explanation card from the pack to leave 48 cards remaining.
Shuffle and split the remaining deck of cards into two - 24 cards in each stack.
Set a timer to go off in 3 minutes.
Use your deck of cards to make words. Lay them out neatly. Line up any cards you have left over that you cant make words with infront of you. This player has 6 cards left over and cant think of any more words to make.
The player with the least amount of cards left over that have not been used to make words wins. So this player cant think of any more words to make with her 4 cards left over - but her 4 cards is less that the 6 cards of the other player so she wins.
Carry a pack of Moekana around with you to play anywhere - like when you are waiting for food for example! Anyway the rules are...
- Words that only have 1 hiragana are not allowed.
- Only plain verbs allowed.
- People's names are not allowed.
- A match ends when a player has used up all their cards to make words or when 3 minutes are up. The person with the least amount of cards in their hands wins.
- Dakuten and handakuten cannot be used because the default pack does not include any.
- "つ", "よ" and "ゆ" cannot be used as their small counterparts so you are not allowed to make a word like "やって" or "ちょう".
These are the official tournament rules but you can modify them to your liking (outside of the tournaments) - just as long as you have fun learning!
The more words you learn, the more tournaments you will win.
Here is the full pack of 50 cards! Folks who play Weiss Scwartz and Chaos will like Moekana because they are exactly the same size, shape and coated the same way too! This means that you can use the same Trading Card Game Supplies for Moekana.
One of the cards outlines the hiragana order. You can memorize the order with the following cheezy but effective sentence - When I first read it my hairs stood on end from the cheezyness but have never forgotten the order since.
Moekana comes with 3 character cards which were illustrated just for Moekana by DMYO-sensei.
There are other ways to play Moekana even if you are not good at hiragana. There is a Japanese game called Karuta and the following rules would be an adapted version for Moekana.
Players: 2 players, 1 judge
Requirement: 2 packs of Moekana
- Remove the 3 character cards, the "n", "wo", and "hiragana order" card from both decks of cards and shuffle.
- Lay all cards on the floor facing up in the field.
- Both players sit facing each other with the field of cards between them.
- The other deck of cards is held by the judge.
- The judge reads out the word on the first card in her deck.
- The first player to touch the same card laid out infront of them can claim that card.
- This process is repeated until all cards from the field are gone.
- The player with the most cards wins and can laugh in the face of the other player.
If you are just starting out to learn Hiragana, then I recommend that you carry a pack with you at all times - you can flick through the deck when waiting for a bus or even during class or work when your teacher or boss is not looking.
You can use the top card to cover the romanized reading at the bottom of the card - try to remember the hiragana using the associated illustrations.
While you are learning hiragana, try to expose yourself to the cards as much as possible. You can even play "Tower of Cards" (2 decks needed) where you race a partner to see who can stack the highest within a certain amount of time.
Again, there are many ways that you can use the cards to learn Japanese - feel free to come up with your own games and let us know what rules they would be - I'll publish the best ones on this page!
Now that you have your pack of Moekana, then how about a Booster pack to go with it to enhance your Japanese hiragana learning? Introducing the Moekana Booster Pack.
Now that you have ordered your Moekana hiragana learning cards, you may want some Moe Sleeves to protect them!
The manufacturer Milestone are brining out two Mirai Suenaga sleeves which fit Moekana, Bushiroad Weiss Schwartz, Chaos and other trading cards which are about 63mm x 89mm.
If you think you've gotten the hang of hiragana, then learning kanji with Moekanji is the next step to mastering Japanese!
Moekanji is a set of 87 illustrated cards to help you learn First Grade Kanji which include the “On” and “Kun” readings written in hiragana. First Grade Kanji is what elementary school children in Japan first learn. Retail price is 2,500 yen but many retailers are nearly discounting up to 20% ^o^
Mirai Suenaga, Haruka Suenaga and Kanata Hoshikawa are joined by Eiji Seiun, Retrokyu and our new character Kizuna Yumeno makes a couple of appearances too - all adorably illustrated by the same Japanese illustrator Ikkyuu-sensei.
More details at moekanji.com!
Moekana features the mascot of the Culture Japan brand - Mirai Suenaga! Find out more about Mirai-chan and the various collaboration titles that she has worked on with Good Smile Company, Bushiroad, Kadokawa, King Records and so on.
Info for retailers - this is what 1 carton will look like - each carton contains 6 boxes of 6 packs. If you are interested in stocking Moekana then contact one of the official Good Smile retailers listed here.
These boxes are only available to retailers and are designed to make stocking the product a bit easier. The barcode contains the JAN Code and is only printed on the actual packs.
There is a perforated edge which enables you to make a POP display to put by the till in a shop or wot not.
If you are after the actual box then try asking your retailer - they may ask you to buy a pack of 6 though ^^;
If you like the Moekana series then show your support by changing your Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus avatar to one of the Moekana illustrations! The full set available here!
I hope you enjoy learning Japanese from the Moekana series just as much as I enjoyed developing them. I'm over the moon that the first production run sold out during the pre-order stage and am currently developing more products in the series which will be announced soon! What sort of products would you like to see?
Hope to meet you in person for a Moekana battle! First stop will be Anime Festival Asia in Malaysia!