Meijin and Queen (名人・クイーン)

Meijin' and 'Queen' refer to Kyogi Karuta (karuta [Japanese card game] match) in which karuta of Hyakunin Isshu (one hundred waka poems by one hundred poets) are used and they played by the rule of All-Japan Karuta Association; for male players the Meijin-sen (literally, 'master tournament') is held, and for female players the Queen-sen is held; they also refer to the titles given to the champions; male player has to pass the preliminary of the Meijin-sen and beat the champion of the previous year, and female player has to pass the preliminary of the Queen-sen and beat the champion of the previous year as well, and the champions become 'Meijin' and 'Queen.'

Meijin

It has been held since 1955. Every year, in the latter part of October, the East Japan preliminary and the West Japan preliminary are held in the form of tournament (Grade A is required for the participation). In November, the winners of the East Japan preliminary and the West Japan preliminary play the best of three games for gaining the qualification of the challenge, and the winner becomes the challenger of the championship match of the Meijin-sen. In January of the following year, the championship match of the Meijin-sen ('Meijin-i Kettei-sen') is held at Omi-jingu Shrine, and Meijin (the champion of the previous year) and the challenger play the best of five games, and the winner becomes Meijin and the loser becomes Jun-Meijin (semi-Meijin).

Queen

It has been held since 1957. Every year, in the latter part of October, the East Japan preliminary and the West Japan preliminary are held in the form of tournament (Female players at Grade A are qualified for the participation). In November, the winners of the East Japan preliminary and the West Japan preliminary play the best of three games for gaining the qualification of the challenge, and the winner becomes the challenger of the championship match of the Queen-sen. In January of the following year, the championship match of the Queen-sen ('Queen-i Kettei-sen') is held at Omi-jingu Shrine, and Queen (the champion of the previous year) and the challenger play the best of three games, and the winner becomes Queen and the loser becomes Jun-Queen (semi-Queen).
In the past, the title was sometimes called 'Quin' (or 'Kuin'), however at present it is commonly called 'Queen.'

Eisei Meijin and Eisei Queen
Players who held the Meijin title for five years and players who won the title seven times in total are given the new title 'Eisei Meijin' (Permanent Meijin).

Players who won the Queen title five times in total are given the new title 'Eisei Gueen' (Permanent Queen).

As of January 10, 2009, the players who hold the titles of Eisei Meijin and Eisei Queen are as follows.

Eisei Meijin

Ichiro MASAKI (won the Meijin title ten times in total; 10 terms since 1955)

Hideo MATSUKAWA (nine times in total; three terms since 1965, 1970, four terms since 1979, 1984)

Takashi TANEMURA (nine times in total; eight terms since 1985, and 1995)

Naoki SAIGO (eleven times in total; eleven terms since 1999, the present Meijin)

Eisei Queen

Kumiko HORISAWA (eight times in total; eight terms since 1977)

Fumie WATANABE (fourteen times in total; three terms since 1988 and eleven terms since 1992)

Saki KUSUNOKI (five times in total; five terms since 2005, the present Queen)