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Three Scenic Places

Three Scenic Places

The Komoto and/or the guests choose three scenic places in the world. Each place will be represented by a unique aloeswood. In Japan, these special places are Matsushima, Amanohashidate, and Itsukushima. We’re playing informal games though and so we may choose any three places in the world.

Four unique kinds of aloeswood are used. One for each scenic spot and the fourth represents the boat to take us there.

Three different aloeswoods represent each of the three special places. Cut two pieces off each of these woods, to about the size of a grain of rice, and wrap into packets. One of each of these is a sample.

Each packet has a small upside down label inside which denotes the type of aloeswood it contains.

The fourth aloeswood represents the boat, and is cut to grain-of-rice size and wrapped into a single packet. Seven packets total; two each of the three special places woods and one boat.

Step 1

The Komoto prepares, announces the names, and passes one sample of each of the three aloeswoods representing special spots to the guests. This gives each guest an association for each aroma. Guests listen to each of the three special spot aloeswoods and try and remember each wood.

Step 2

The Komoto shuffles the four remaining packets, then prepares and passes around each wood without naming them. Used packets are arranged in the order used.

Step 3

Guests listen to each wood and record their answers as to which aloeswood was which special place and which was the boat.

Scoring sheets would look something like this:

1st wood = Matsushima (or other designated place)

2nd wood = Amanohashidate (or other designated place)

3rd wood = The Boat

4th wood = Itsukushima (or other designated place)

The Komoto opens the packets used, reads the hidden labels and reveals the answers.

The purpose of the game is to enjoy the places, and each of the woods. Answers are interpreted as:

If all three places and the boat are guessed correctly, it's said that you encountered beautiful weather and have visited all three scenic spots.

If three woods were identified correctly, you encountered clear weather and have visited two scenic spots with your boat now heading towards the third.

If two woods were identified, it's interpreted as the scenic spots were somewhat obscured by the evening mist.

It only one wood is guessed correctly, it was due to the morning mist, which lingers longer than evening mist and thus obscures the scenery further. *If the one wood identified was the boat, then the player is said to have viewed each of the spots from the boat, without actually having set foot on land.

And if none of the woods were guessed correctly it was because the mist at times, can be as thick as clouds, in which case nothing can be seen.


*From "The Book of Incense," by Kiyoko Morita

Other Kodo Games

The Game of Three | The Rikkoku Journey