Outfit for the Game of Incense

Ryūryūkyo Shinsai Japanese

Not on view

This privately commissioned, limited-edition New Year's greeting print (surimono) depicts various utensils of the incense game. It features a decorative mica stand, which held the small, silver-framed mica plates under the chopped incense wood pieces as they were heated in the incense heater. The poem refers to several spring symbols using word play, as is customary in New Year's greetings. Also mentioned is the first incense game of the year (hatsuneko), an incense game that celebrates the advent of spring.

Outfit for the Game of Incense, Ryūryūkyo Shinsai (Japanese, active ca. 1799–1823), Woodblock print (surimono); ink and color on paper, Japan

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