I was born and raised in the States for 15 years. When I thought of Japanese culture, I thought of card games because all of my friends in America were also really into Yugioh.
I knew that Yugioh was known worldwide, but I was still surprised to see that Yugioh existed even in places like Chile, Germany, the Netherlands, Korea, and Mexico, etc.
That made me wonder why Yugioh became so popular. The answer I found was in the past. After some research, I found a type of Karuta called Obake Karuta (Monster cards), one of the earliest attempts to categorize, label and market legendary creatures.
I thought that this closely resembled Yugioh, which also involves categorizing and labeling fictional creatures.