CultureEtymologyJapanese traditionUncorrected

Pikaichi (ピカイチ – Best of the Bunch)

  • Pikaichi


    When describing something/someone that is the best among many things/people, you can use the Japanese ‘pikaichi‘ (ピカイチ).

    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”).

    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”).

    In the hana-awase, firstly seven cards are handed out to each participant.

    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.

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