Review of ‘Ritual and Revelry: The Art of Drinking’ at the British Museum

Review of ‘Ritual and Revelry: The Art of Drinking’ at the British Museum

Follow the link for my review of the free exhibition ‘Ritual and Revelry,’ currently on view at the British Museum. The exhibition examines the roles of different liquids in the social and spiritual life of Asia, and includes some beautiful pieces not normally on display. The highlight is the section exploring alcohol and bhang, a drink made from marijuana, which includes unusual drinking paraphernalia, and some entertaining images of revellers who have gone too far.


Hiroshige print of people acting out silhouettes

Hiroshige print of people acting out silhouettes

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!