What is Menko?

めんこ Menko

Menko is a children’s game which dates back to the early 17th century. The rules are simple. Players place their cards on the ground and take turns trying to flip the other players’ cards over by throwing another card at them. One of the cards may be flipped by a gust of wind created by the thrown card. If successful, the thrower can keep the flipped card.

The cards themselves, printed with pictures or drawings of popular characters, are also called menko. The game was popular among children in Japan until the mid-1980s, but was pushed aside by the advent of activities such as video games.

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