Hajime Wataya (綿谷始 Wataya Hajime) was the grandfather of Arata Wataya. He is known as the "Eternal Master Hajime". He reigned as a master of karuta for 7 consecutive years during the 1980s. He was highly renowned and respected in the karuta world, and Arata is following in his footsteps.
Arata is Hajime's grandson. They were very close. He taught Arata how to play karuta. When Hajime got sick, Arata and his family moved back in order to take care of him. He died on the day Arata went to a competition and got to Class A in karuta. Arata was so upset at his death that he quit playing karuta for a time.
Akira is Hajime's son. Arata said they don't get along very well.
Hajime had a match with Harada when Harada was in his late teens. Harada admired him greatly, and saw much of his likeness in playing style in Arata.
- At his first flashback, Arata was shown visiting him because of paralysis on the right side of his body.
- In Episode 4, he was diagnosed with dementia.
- His and Arata's Karuta playing style is the same.