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Antique Japanese Edo Era Early 1800'c Pair of Kaioke 貝匣 Round Lacquer Lidded Box 16"

Antique Japanese Edo Era Early 1800'c Pair of Kaioke 貝匣 Round Lacquer Lidded Box 16"

Regular price $750.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $750.00 USD
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This is a pair of antique Japanese kaioke 貝匣 containers with the original storage boxes, used in the Kai-awase shell-matching game it is a cylindrical lacquer ware vessel meticulously crafted to hold and showcase matched pairs of beautifully decorated clam shells. Its exquisite design and lacquer finish make it not just a functional component of the game but also a work of art. Kaioke containers play an integral role in preserving the intricate clam shell pairs and add to the cultural significance and aesthetics of the traditional Japanese game.

The traditional Japanese game dates back centuries and is played with seashells, particularly clamshells.

The game of kai-awase requires 360 clam shells, each with a unique and intricate design. These shells are often collected from the beach and decorated with beautiful patterns or paintings. They are then divided into pairs, with each pair containing two matching shells. Players sit facing each other, and the shells are mixed up and placed face down. One player starts by flipping two shells face up, attempting to find a matching pair. If the shells match, the player keeps the pair and gets another turn. If not, the shells are turned face down again. The game continues until all the pairs have been matched. The player with the most pairs at the end wins.

Kai-awase is not only a game but also an art form, as the clamshells are often intricately decorated with beautiful designs. It has historical and cultural significance in Japan and is considered a traditional pastime that has been enjoyed for centuries.


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