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A few days ago, we took a moment to appreciate the amazing combination of Japanese digital entertainment and traditional clothing in the form of the Super Mario kimono. The platforming hero isn’t the only Nintendo character being reimagined along classical Japanese artistic principles, though, as now the creatures of Pokémon have been reborn as hanafuda playing cards, resulting in adorably old-school designs appearing on fans, towels, tea cups, and more.

In case you’ve never seen a set, hanafuda cards ordinarily look something like this.

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Each card has a unique illustration, and some of the ones with the highest point values have pictures of animals such as cranes, deer, and boars. Last year, though, anime merchandiser Movic decided to replace such mundane wildlife with the pocket monsters from Pokémon Red and Green.

The Pokémon hanafuda were such a hot that they sold out shortly after they went on sale. Thankfully, if you missed your first chance to pick up a pack, the awesome artwork is back in a new lineup of Pokémon hanafuda merchandise.

The most affordable items on offer are these rubber straps, which are just 500 yen (US$4.60) each.

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If you’re looking for something a little more functional, these plastic files sell in sets of two for 700 yen.

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Where those hanafuda motifs really look their best, though, is on more traditional Japanese items, like these hand towels, that sell for 1,300 yen each, or this 1,500-yen folding fan.

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We’re already into the middle part of October, though, so you’re probably not going to get too much use out of a fan until five or six months from now. While you’re waiting, you might want to warm yourself up with some piping hot green tea, poured into a 1,000-yen Pokémon cup that ditches the bright colors for the subdued hues commonly seen on Aritayaki ceramics.

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Once the weather does warm up and you can venture out in short sleeves again, this Articuno tee-shirt wouldn’t be a bad choice if you’ve got the 3,200 yen to drop on it.

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Of course, the drawback to that plan is that if you’re wearing an Articuno shirt, everyone gets to admire the Pokémon’s icy plumage except you. You can rectify this problem with a 1,500-yen wall scroll, which is also available in Moltres and Pikachu versions.

▼ Pikachu must be tired after all that marching around Yokohama.

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And finally, if you’ve taken to heart the franchise’s famous tagline “Gotta catch ‘em all,” 9,600 yen will get you this gigantic set of 48 Pokémon hanafuda pins.

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All of these items, plus a reissue of the 2,500-yen hanafuda playing cards themselves, will hit the shelves of Pokémon Center and Animate retailers on December 4. They’re also available for preorder now through Animate’s online shop and the Pokémon Hanafuda website, and given how popular they were last time around, reserving your ahead of time would definitely be a super effective way of making sure you don’t miss out.

Source: IT Media
Top image: Pokémon Hanafuda
Insert images: Okuno Karuta, Animate, Pokémon Hanafuda