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Kaioke

Motif Information
Motif kaioke 01.jpg
Rōmaji Kaioke
English Shell box
Kanji 貝桶
Kana かいおけ
Season New Years
Seasonal Exceptions Spring
Auspicious Yes
Motif Type Man-made
Pronounciation
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Kaioke refers to the pair of boxes used to hold the shells for kai awase(貝合), a shell matching game dating back to the Heian era. One kaioke held the jigai, shells placed face up at the start of the game, and the other kaioke held the dashigai, the shells drawn by players attempting to make a match.[1]

Seasonal Use, Exceptions & Pairings

During the Heian period, kai awase was played by young women on Hinamatsuri (Girls' Day, now March 3rd) and the Chrysanthemum Festival (the ninth day of the ninth lunar month).[2] Today, kai awase continues to be played at New Years.

Motif Connotations & Symbolism

Stuff about what it symbolises, what it'sassociated with, etc.

Auspicious Nature

The finding of one's perfect match implied by kai awase makes kaioke an auspicious motif for weddings. In the Edo period, kaioke were often included in the household objects brought by a new bride.[3]

Common Motif Pairings

Identification & Style Variations

Kaioke always appear as hexagonal boxes, often paired.

Motif Examples

Motif in Literature & Other Usage

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In Poetry

Article Notes

Relevant Threads / Discussions

  • Link to any relevant threads on IG

References

  1. Dusenbury, Mary. Flowers, Dragons, & Pine Trees: Asian Textiles in the Spencer Museum of Art. Hudson Hills Press, New York and Manchester. 2004. p.248.
  2. Dusenbury, Mary. Flowers, Dragons, & Pine Trees: Asian Textiles in the Spencer Museum of Art. Hudson Hills Press, New York and Manchester. 2004. p.248.
  3. Dusenbury, Mary. Flowers, Dragons, & Pine Trees: Asian Textiles in the Spencer Museum of Art. Hudson Hills Press, New York and Manchester. 2004. p.248.

Image Credits

  • Isabella Lind

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