Waite=J.K. Tarot (Japan) - House of White Tarot Museum & Research Library
This tarot deck kept the line art of Arthur Waite and Pamela Colman Smith but changed the colors drastically. It was hugely popular in Japan from 1975 through at least 1990.
JK Tarot, Japan, 1975, Seigan Nakajima, Japanese tarot, Tokyo
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  • 1st edition Waite-J.K. Tarot deck with brown back
  • 1975 2nd. edition J.K. Tarot set (note card backs)
  • Front cover of Waite-J.K. Tarot deck LWB
  • Original bookstore label :-)

Waite=J.K. Tarot (Japan)

The Waite=J.K. Tarot was published by Tairiku Shobou, of Tokyo Japan, first in 1975 and then again in 1989. We know of four editions, a prototype and then three that are similar but printed at different times, with different boxes. These cards are an explosion of color, but retain the general line art from Waite/Smith’s deck. While this is technically a redrawing of that art, the changes are stylistic, as if a preference by the artist to add texture and depth to the core images without changing them as much as other modern decks have.


It is an interesting homage to traditionalism and respect for the past, with a blending of fierce independence and a sense of identity with art (as a concept) that reveals the artist’s desire to correct small parts of each image. This is a unique deck in the world in that it is at once a clone and an original, like Marcel Duchamp painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa: It is an improvement of sorts, but also an original in the power of it’s visual statement. The art was done by Seigan Nakajima under the supervision of Alexandria Mokusei-ou. If you would like to read more about this amazing deck please click here.