Earthquake Ken Game (Jishin ken)
about 1855 (Ansei 2)
Artist Unknown, Japanese
Tokita, E de tanoshimu Edo no kotowaza (2005), p. 221; Linhart, "Interpreting...," in Japan at Play (2002), p. 48, fig. 2.4
Vertical ôban; 36 x 25.4 cm (14 3/16 x 10 in.)
Medium or Technique
Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper
Not On View
MFA impressions: 11.21960, 11.35945, 11.38632, 11.42059
A game of Fox-fists (Kitsune ken) played by three of the Four Scary Things, Earthquake (the catfish), Thunderstorm (the thunder god), and Fire, while the fourth scary thing, the stern father, looks on.
No censor's seal
No blockcutter's mark
By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850–d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 19, 2005)
 Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.
William Sturgis Bigelow Collection