From the introduction:
Hanamichi is a "role-playing game". The point, like all recreational activities, is to have fun. More specifically, the point of Hanamichi is to create stories addressing issues the players find interesting. These issues will probably deal with love, trust, honor, betrayal, sacrifice and passion; at least, those are the issues the game was designed with a view towards. The setting presents the players with certain elements and even pushes them to confront certain ideas, but the ultimate but the ultimate decisions (and, thus, outcomes) are in their hands. And because the emphasis is on stories, imagination is paramount.
Hanamichi has certain objectives to complete, and an ending, but the players should ideally have fun even if (perhaps especially if) their characters are killed. Imagine an informal basketball game among friends... "Do you remember that awesome dunk I made?" "Well, I sunk that great three-pointer!" Though the points may show that someone won and someone lost, it is still possible for everyone to have fun and create an experience they value. (It may be useful for the players to voice their priorities in this regard before playing; it will certainly be useful in diagnosing problems between players.)
Hanamichi is intended to be played in short sessions, what roleplayers might consider "one-shot" scenarios. An entire game should not take more than a few hours. (In theory, anyway...) It is intended to be played by not less than three and (probably) at most eight players. The more players, the longer play time. (The game will be a little smoother with an even number of players, but odd numbers are not impossible.) Each player will need paper and writing utensils, and play will also require at least two six-sided dice, which may be shared among players. Also, each player should write their name (as well as the names of their two characters, when they know them) on a slip of paper. These slips of paper will be put into a hat (or a bag, or just the middle of the table) to be chosen randomly. Finally, players will require "tokens" of two distinct types: Hanamichi and Mie tokens. These tokens have distinct uses in Hanamichi. Anything can be used as long as the two types of tokens can be distinguished, and there are at least twice as many Hanamichi tokens and three times as many Mie tokens as there are players. (Only a rough estimate.) Nickels and pennies may be used, or in a pinch, players can simply record them on their Geisha sheets and cross them off as they're used.