In the Shell-matching Game, Some People Do Not Notice What Is in Front of Them But Look Around Instead ... (Kai o ôu hito no waga mae naru o ba okite yoso o miwatashi), from the series Essays in Idleness (Tsurezure-gusa)
about 1831–2 (Tenpô 2–3)
Artist Totoya Hokkei (Japanese, 1780–1850)
Shikishiban; 19.8 x 17.8 cm (7 13/16 x 7 in.)
Medium or Technique
Woodblock print (surimono); ink and color on paper
Not On View
… and so of course they lose the game when the shells before their eyes are claimed by other players.
From section 171 of Tsurezuregusa (a collection of essays by Kenkô, written in the early 1330s).
Commissioned by the Manjiren poetry circle.
By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850 - d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 3, 1911)
 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