In the 11th Century, the city of Kyoto in Japan was plagued by cannibalistic demons who kidnapped and devoured local women. Warrior Yorimitsu and his cohorts broke into the demons’ lair disguised as monks then offered them poisoned saké. Told through ancient painted scrolls, this is just one of the many stories in the British Museum’s free exhibition ‘Ritual and Revelry’. The aim of this pan-Asian exhibition is to explore the religious and revelry-filled use of booze, tea, and other drinks in numerous Asian cultures. Other items on display include images of Hindu deity Shiva drinking an infusion of bhang (cannabis) that traditionally was considered to have transcendental properties. With the range of countries and time span covered in the exhibition (3,000 years), they’re packing a lot in. There’s no getting away from the fact that this is an exhibition dominated by jugs and pots, but the tales the objects tell are rich.
For info, see our Ritual and Revelry listing.