2010年01月06日

The plaything for “Kai-awase” , the game of pairing the two parts of clamshells, consists of beautiful shellwork with paintings which depict the nobility’s life in Kyoto in the Heian period, toward the 9th-12th century.

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“Kai-awase” was originally played among the noblewomen in Kyoto in the 9th century, later it had spread itself into women from the upper-class Samurai warriors' families by the end of the Edo period,the latter 19th century. Although this game can be seen very seldom today, a set of kai-awase was an item to be included in the brides's household throughout the feudal age. Each shell only matches perfectly with the other half. Thus, the game symbolized a couple to be met for a happy marriage. The size of clamshells were carefully chosen to fit in the palms of women's hands. Players sat around hundreds of clamshells randomly faced-down on tatami mats and sought for a right pair, like a card game, Concentration. After the game,the shells were put away into octagonal boxes of elaborate work of painting on gold leaf.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 20:46 | Sports and games | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする