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Daitouryou

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Napoleon Hanafuda

The Daitouryou deck.

Nintendo's Daitouryou Hanafuda cards were manufactured very early in the company's life. They are Nintendo's most successful Hanafuda cards and are among the few decks that are still produced to this day. The Daitouryou cards are well known for featuring the portrait of Napoléon. Today, the box in which the deck comes in is made of a plastic material, whereas originally the cards were placed in beautifully crafted wood boxes.

In Japanese, Daitouryou is translated in English as "president". It's unknown why Fusajiro Yamauchi named the card deck as such, since Napoleon was an emperor instead of a president. Some have speculated that Yamauchi thought that the photograph he used of Napoleon was in fact George Washington, though this cannot be proved. It's also possible that Fusajiro simply made a false assumption in thinking that Napoleon was the president of France.

This was not the first time that Nintendo used Napoleon's likeness on a product. Later in the nineteen seventies Nintendo released a strategy board game called Napoleon. It was popular enough to warrant a miniature version that was a part of the Mini Game series. Also interesting to note is that years later, Sekiryo Kaneda, president of Nintendo, created a Nintendo subsidiary called Napoleon with the intention of selling Nintendo playing cards outside of Japan. The division failed and was later dissolved.

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