Sugoroku

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Man and woman playing ban-sugoroku
(from Hikone Screen) Hikone Sugoroku.jpg
Man and woman playing ban-sugoroku
(from Hikone Screen)

Sugoroku(雙六 or 双六) (literally 'double six') refers to two different forms of a Japanese board game: ban-sugoroku (盤双六, 'board-sugoroku') which is similar to western backgammon, and e-sugoroku (絵双六, 'picture-sugoroku') which is similar to western Snakes and Ladders. [1]

Japan Constitutional monarchy in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

Board game game that involves counters or pieces moved or placed on a pre-marked surface or "board", according to a set of rules

A board game is a tabletop game that involves counters or pieces moved or placed on a pre-marked surface or "board", according to a set of rules. Some games are based on pure strategy, but many contain an element of chance; and some are purely chance, with no element of skill.

Backgammon one of the oldest board games for two players

Backgammon is one of the oldest known board games. Its history can be traced back nearly 5,000 years to archeological discoveries in the Middle East, originally in Iran. It is a two player game where each player has fifteen pieces (checkers) which move between twenty-four triangles (points) according to the roll of two dice. The objective of the game is to be first to bear off, i.e. move all fifteen checkers off the board. Backgammon is a member of the tables family, one of the oldest classes of board games.

Contents

Ban-sugoroku

Ban-sugoroku plays identically to backgammon (it even has the same starting position), except for the following differences:

The game is thought to have been introduced from China (where it was known as Shuanglu) into Japan in the sixth century.

China State in East Asia

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

It is known that in the centuries following the game's introduction into Japan it was made illegal several times, most prominently in 689 and 754. This is because the simple and luck-based nature of sugoroku made it an ideal gambling game. This version of sugoroku and records of playing for gambling continuously appeared until early Edo era. In early Edo-era, a new and quick gambling game called Chō-han (丁半) appeared and using sugoroku for gambling quickly dwindled.

Chō-Han Bakuchi or simply Chō-Han (丁半) is a traditional Japanese gambling game using dice.

This variant of the backgammon family has died out in Japan and most other countries, with the Western style modern backgammon (with doubling-cube) having some avid players.

E-sugoroku

E-Sugoroku (1925) Sugoroku2500.jpg
E-Sugoroku (1925)

A simpler e-sugoroku, with rules similar to snakes and ladders, appeared as early as late 13th century and was made popular due to the cheap and elaborate wooden block printing technology of the Edo period. Thousands of variations of boards were made with pictures and themes from religion, political, actors, and even adult material. In the Meiji and later periods, this variation of the game remained popular and was often included in child-oriented magazines. With ban-sugoroku being obsolete, today the word sugoroku almost always means e-sugoroku.

Other Sugoroku games

Many sugoroku-based video games were released, including: Kiteretsu Daihyakka: Chōjikū Sugoroku , Sugoroku Ginga Senki, Battle Hunter , Ganbare Goemon: Mononoke Sugoroku , Dokodemo Hamster 4: Doki Doki Sugoroku Daibouken!, Hello Kitty: Minna de Sugoroku , Gotouchi Hello Kitty Sugoroku Monogatari , Yu-Gi-Oh! Sugoroku's Board Game , Family Pirate Party , Hidamari Sketch: Doko Demo Sugoroku x 365 , and PictureBook Games: Pop-Up Pursuit .

<i>Battle Hunter</i> 1999 video game

Battle Hunter, known in Japan as Battle Sugoroku: Hunter and in Europe as The Hunter, is an anime-styled tactical role-playing game, released for the PlayStation in 1999. It was released in Japan as part of the SuperLite 1500 series of budget games. The game revolves around a player-controlled hunter that must compete with three other hunters in order to win a relic, and makes heavy use of traditional RPG conventions such as dice and tile-based movement.

Hello Kitty fictional character

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<i>Family Pirate Party</i> video game

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The video game Samurai Warriors 2 features a mini-game named Sugoroku, but it bears very little resemblance to traditional Sugoroku. Instead, it plays very much like Itadaki Street , Wily & Right no RockBoard: That's Paradise , or a simplified version of Monopoly : players take turns in moving around a board, the spaces of which are designated as different territories of Japan. By landing on an unoccupied space, the player is able to buy that space for a set amount of money. If one player lands on a space purchased by another, they must pay a fee to that player, or else can choose to challenge the player for control of that space (utilising the main Samurai Warriors 2 game engine for special challenge games). Also present on the board are "Shrine" spaces, which are roughly analogous to Monopoly's Chance and Community Chest spaces.

<i>Samurai Warriors 2</i>

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<i>Wily & Right no RockBoard: Thats Paradise</i> 1993 video game

Wily & Right no RockBoard: That's Paradise is a spin-off video game title in the original Mega Man series from Capcom. It is a business simulation game that is similar to board game Monopoly, in which players and the computer AI take turns going around a set of connected squares, buying up property, and charging other participants rent when they land on those spaces.

<i>Monopoly</i> (game) Board game about property trading and management

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Snakes and Ladders board game

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Tables (board game) class of board games

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Hypergammon is a variant of backgammon.

Acey-deucey game similar to backgammon

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Plakoto

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<i>Goemon Mononoke Sugoroku</i> 1999 video game

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Ssangryuk

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References

  1. Rebecca Salter (2006). "Japanese Popular Prints: From Votive Slips to Playing Cards". University of Hawaii Press. p. 164.