Forfeits

The Japanese play various games of forfeits, which they call ken, sitting in a little circle and flinging out their fingers, after the manner of the Italian mora. The most popular kind of ken is the kitsune ken, or "fox forfeit," in which various positions of the fingers represent a fox, a man, and a gun. The man can use the gun, the gun can kill the fox, the fox can deceive the man; but the man cannot kill the fox without the gun, nor the fox use the gun against the man. This leads to a number of combinations. Another variety of the game of forfeits is the tomo-se, or "follow me," in which the beaten player has to walk round the room after the conqueror, with something on his back, as if he were the conqueror's baggage coolie. The dance called by foreigners "John Kino" is a less reputable member of the same family of games.