Illustration of a Japanese Kemari Match
source: Wikimedia Commons
author: Akisato Rito
A black and white illustration depicts eight Japanese men in traditional garb standing in a square court. They watch an airborne ball hanging high above their heads. The court is surrounded by a wooden lattice and each corner is marked with a tree.
This illustration was pulled from the late 18th century Japanese text 巻之一. It depicts a match of kemari, a sport with similarities to hacky-sack or keep-up. In this game, up to eight players would take turns kicking a ball into the air, trying to keep it airborne.
Guttmann, A., & Thompson, L. (2001). Japanese sports: A history. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.