North America

Cards from far off lands and bygone days!

Re: North America

Unread postby dazzleguts » Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:59 pm  

Space
Gong Hee Fot Choy
U.S. Games Systems. Inc.
c. 1982
(originally 1935)

GongHeeFotChoy_box_small .jpg
GongHeeFotChoy_box_small .jpg (95.93 KiB) Viewed 143 times

This deck references Chinese culture, but only indirectly. It's actually the product of Margaret Ward, a mystic and world traveler who spent much of her life chasing down the arts and traditions of fortune telling in almost every country. The Gong Hee Fot Choy fortune telling system (which insists on calling itself a game) was originally published in 1935, and she describes it as a synthesis of the many divination systems she came across in her various travels, especially of China. The Chinese name means "Greeting of Riches," but she doesn't offer much of a reason of why the name was chosen, except to say that it gives "a small token of my appreciation of these marvelous people."

GongHeeFotChoySpadesDiamonds_small.jpg


The suits have a general theme running through them and you can clearly see why Ward says that the odds in her system are three to one in favor of good over bad.

"The HEARTS represent LOVE and FRIENDSHIP; anything of a personal nature.

The DIAMONDS represent FORTUNE and RICHES, and papers of any kind.

The CLUBS represent LUCK, WISDOM and BUSINESS.

The SPADES represent the UNPLEASANT THINGS of life."

GongHeeFotChoyClubsHearts_small.jpg


The deck featured here is actually completely secondary to the system, which was designed to be able to work with any standard deck of playing cards. The key to the system is the instruction book, which contains a few quick instructions on how to lay out a tableau, and dozens of pages about how to read each card in each position. Included with the book is a folded paper poster for laying out the cards. It shows thirty-two rectangles, called houses, each of which corresponds to a particular card in the layout.

GongHeeFotChoyJokersBackAce_small.jpg


This information was found at http://www.guntheranderson.com/cards/feb97/gong.htm where Mr. Anderson provides much more detail on the book, and the divination system it describes, than I have included here.
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Re: North America

Unread postby flashcards » Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:06 am  

Interesting. The name implies a Chinese themed deck while all the courts (except perhaps the hearts and King of Diamonds) show Japanese style clothing and hair styles.
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Re: North America

Unread postby dazzleguts » Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:24 am  

Yes, I agree that's puzzling, and that's part of the reason this deck is in the North American thread. On the website I linked to in the posting, Gunther Anderson mentions a similarity to Piatnik's Japanese costume deck. He mentions "George R. Bennett's Chinese designs on the court cards and joker", but I couldn't tell if he was referring to the Piatnik deck or the Gong Hee Fot Choy? Neither of which fully applies really.

*edit*
Sorry I read too fast that first time. Have amended my post accordingly.
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