I've decided to start a series of posts about traditional Japanese games that you might come across in Japanese prints. I'll post a new one every now and then, when the mood takes me. Today we have the game called Konkonchiki. The object of the game was to put your hand through a loop that had been formed in the middle of a long sash, grab a sake cup that had been placed on a stand just beyond the loop, and then remove your hand before the other participants could close the loop and trap you. Failure to snatch up the cup and remove your hand resulted in you having to drink a cup of sake. The game was played by geisha at parties and was popular at the New Year. A children's version of the game replaced the cup of sake with one of water.
Playing Konkonchiki, Kusakabe Kimbei albumen photo, c. 1880.