I came across the companion to this print, a similar image but with figures acting out the silhouettes of two different teapots, at the British Museum’s ‘Ritual and Revelry: the art of drinking in Asia.’ (I am writing a review of this mini exhibition – expect a link soon.)
It is such a bizarre image I’ve been thinking about it ever since. The teapot print (unfortunately not available on the BM’s website) had figures that were far more distorted, as if they just happened to have the same silhouette as a teapot. Here, it looks more like the people are playing a game, deliberately acting out a shape in silhouette.
I’ve had a quick look but I can’t see anything online about the game. Has anyone come across it anywhere else? Is it still played in Japan? It looks like fun, though also pretty difficult!