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Cat Shell Game Tokens

Laura of the Japanese-language blog Caroline & Laura's Tea Break loves cats and makes beautiful snacks and crafts that look like them, such as eclairs and sweets.

Her most recent project is a set of painted shells. They are used in kaiawase, a game played by women in Heian period of Japanese history, which lasted from 794 to 1185 AD. The Metropolitan Museum of Art describes the game:

To play the game, a number of shells are divided between two boxes. One group is taken out and then matched one at a time to the halves from the second box. Pairs of related scenes from the Tale of Genji and other romances are painted on the inside of the shells as clues.

You can see more photos of Laura's kaiawase shells here (translation).


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