Vintage Japanese Kai-awase (Shell Matching) Game
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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Folk Art: Pre 1950: item # 1136078
Please refer to our stock # OT12 when inquiring.
Guillermina Oriental Arts and Antiques
111 W Richmond Avenue
Point Richmond, CA 94801
$150 for the pair
|Pair of clam shells with miniature paintings, part of a Japanese game called "kai-awase" or shell-matching. Kaiawase also called Kai-oi was an indoor game originated at the end of the Heian period and mainly played by the ladies of the noble families. It was particularly popular at New Year's. One shell has a painting of two ladies sitting amongst a garden of irises. The other shell has four men sitting in a room playing a game or discussing the open books in front of them. In both these paintings the details of their surroundings and the figures themselves are exquisite. These two shells fit together. The paintings depicted are usually taken from a well known poetry anthology such as the "kokinwakashi" or a popular work of classical literature like the "Tale of Genji". Each shell measures approximately 2 1/2" x 3". Mid-20th century. To learn more about the game refer to the book SHOGUN, The Shogun Age Exhibition from the Tokugawa Art Museum, Japan, published December 1983.|