Top players of a traditional Japanese card game have battled it out in a New Year's contest at a shrine in Shiga Prefecture, western Japan.
The game features a collection of "Tanka" short poems written by 100 poets. This includes emperors and noble men and women, from the 7th through 13th centuries. The anthology, called "Ogura Hyakunin Isshu," is still popular today.
Saturday's event took place at Omi Shrine, which is dedicated to Emperor Tenji. He wrote the first poem in the collection.
Each match is fought by 2 players sitting face to face with 50 cards bearing the latter halves of the poems placed before them.
Once a reader begins reciting the first half, the players hit the corresponding cards at lightning speed. The fastest wins.
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