Shell Game (Kaiawase) Set


Not on view

The shell game was a popular pastime in the Edo period. Sets like this one were often included in a daimyo bride's trousseau. To play the game, a number of shells are divided between two boxes. One group is taken out and then matched one at a time to the halves from the second box. Pairs of related scenes from the Tale of Genji and other romances are painted on the inside of the shells as clues.

Shell Game (Kaiawase) Set, Clam shells painted in gold and color, Japan

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