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.

Art on Tuesday: Happy New Year!


Kikukawa Eizan 菊川 英山 (1787–1867) painted this picture around 1840. It shows two Japanese ladies and a girl playing Hanetsuki on the New Year’s day. It is a game like badminton often played by females around New Year. The women are wearing high fashionable kimonos in multiple layers, colors and patterns with contrasting obis.

I wish you a very Happy New Year and hope you have a great time ahead in 2016!

Readings in June

In June readers of Japan Kaleidoskop were mostly interested in Japanese Literature and again the book reviews:

1. Most of my visitors read the book review of Men Without Women by Murakami Haruki as in May 2015. So this title is on the first place again due to the popularity of the author’s latest book.

2. On the second place there is a surprise: It is Thousand Cranes by Kawabata Yasunari. The title has been searched for several times in this month, but never before June. In the past many visitors were looking for Yukiguni by Kawabata instead. But it is still the same author on the second place. Kawabata Yasunari was born in June 11, 1899 in Ôsaka.

3. The third most read book review on this blog was Seven Japanese Tales by Tanizaki Jun’ichirô. One of my personal favorite Japanese author.

Although most of the search terms are not visible anymore, there were some, which gave me a hint, of what my visitors were looking for.

I liked the search term: “courtesan reading poet ono no komachi biography” very much. It is an ukiyo e by Kikugawa Eizan 菊川 英山 (1787 – 1867) chosen for this blog’s Art on Tuesday series on November 14, 2014.



Art on Tuesday: Cherry Blossom Viewing


Here is a lovely scene of a cherry blossom viewing party 花見 (hanami) in a Japanese palace garden.The cherry tree is in full bloom. It was painted by Kikuzawa Eizan 菊川 英山 (1787-1867). The two ladies are drinking tea and eating some sweats. They are wearing fashionable clothes. The woman in the front is showing an interesting obi with a pattern of cranes, the one in the background has cherry blossoms on her kimono.