User Menu

MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Earthquake Ken Game (Jishin ken)

Start collecting

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.




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) NOTES: [1] 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.

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection

Japanese, Edo period, about 1855 (Ansei 2)

Catalogue Raisonné

Tokita, E de tanoshimu Edo no kotowaza (2005), p. 221; Linhart, "Interpreting...," in Japan at Play (2002), p. 48, fig. 2.4


Vertical ôban

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper