Pikaichi (ピカイチ – Best of the Bunch)


  • Pikaichi

    ピカイチ


    When describing something/someone that is the best among many things/people, you can use the Japanese ‘pikaichi‘ (ピカイチ).
    多くのものの中で、飛び抜けて優れていることを日本語で「ピカイチ」と言うことがあります。

    This term comes from ‘hana-awase‘ (花合わせ), which is one of the ways of playing traditional Japanese card ‘hanafuda‘ (花札 – literally “flower cards”).
    この言葉は、日本の伝統的なカード「花札」の遊び方の一つ「花合わせ」に由来します。

    There are mainly four types of cards in hanafuda: 1 point cards called ‘kasu-fuda‘ (カス札 – literally “garbage card”), 5 point cards, 10 point cards, and 20 point cards called ‘hikari-fuda‘ (光札 – literally “shining cards”).
    花札には、1点のカス札、5点の札、10点の札、20点の光札が存在します。

    In the hana-awase, firstly seven cards are handed out to each participant.
    そして花合わせは、最初に7枚の札が各参加者に配られます。

    At this time, when someone had six kasu-fudas and one hikari-fuda, it was called ‘picaichi’ (ピカイチ – literally “one pika/hikari”), and it has come to have its current meaning.
    このとき、「カス札が6枚、光札が1枚」の状態であることを「ピカイチ」と呼び、現在の意味を持つようになったというわけです。

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