Ukiyoe Tarot

Review By Tabitha Chamberlain


Ukiyoe Tarot by Koji Furtuta

Published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.,

ISBN: 978-0-88079-014-7

Retail: U.S. $20.00

The term Ukiyoe was is a method of woodprint art that flourished between the 17th to 19th centuries in Japan. It refers to the “floating world”, becoming rather popular with the newly developing urbanization of Japan. The deck is a traditional mix of Tarot with Buddhism and everyday Japanese life.

Ukiyoe Tarot

With its large images, and mostly earthy tones with rich textural patterns, this deck has more depth than it lets on. The Majors are very comfortable from the beginner to the experienced reader. The Ukiyoe images don’t take anything away from a more traditional Tarot deck.

The Minors may cause a bit of a struggle for the less experienced reader as they don’t have any images depicted on them. They only hold the tarot suits images in the foreground as well as flora and fauna in the background. Don’t ignore these subtle references as they add another layer to any reading with this particular deck. 

Each Majors and Minors have a thin boarder in white surrounding it, the title at the bottom of the card. The backs are reversible in a dark burgundy color with red and bronze-ish colored maples leavess. The more you learn about this style of art and the symbolism of the chosen flora and fauna more you get out of this deck. It’s an easy and comfortable to shuffle, but mellow images that doesn’t shock or make you uncomfortable while using.

Although it only comes with a Little White Book (LWB), it’s a decent source of information both on the style of art as well as the symbolism of the deck itself in all aspects. Unfortunately, like most LWB, it’s tiny! I got a headache trying to read it, however don’t throw it away. It holds good reference on how Majors, Minors and each Minor suit plays apart in our lives as well as references the symbolism of the chosen flora in each card. Just do it in small doses. 

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