Art on Tuesday: The Fox Game


The three geisha-girls are playing a hand-game called kitsune-ken 狐拳, it is comparable to rock-paper-scissor, a hand-game which is original Japanese and was adapted by the West. On the left side she represents the village head 庄屋, in the middle she plays the fox 狐, and the right girl plays the hunter 猟師. The rules are: the hunter beats the fox, the fox beats the village head, and he beats the hunter. Kikuzawa Eizan  菊川英山  (1787-1867) made this ukiyo-e in 1820.

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