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1938 Showa 13 Japanese Propaganda Sugoroku Game and Map

[Japanese Army Sugoroku] - Main View

1938 Showa 13 Japanese Propaganda Sugoroku Game and Map


A child's game propagandizing the might of the Imperial Japanese army on the even of World War II.



[Japanese Army Sugoroku]
  1938 (dated)     21 x 30.5 in (53.34 x 77.47 cm)


A rare 1938 or Showa 13 Japanese sugoroku game board and propaganda map with a martial theme. Although depicting no physical location, the game takes the form of a map, with rivers, seas, and land. Although predating World War II by one year, and Pearl Harbor by 2 years, this map highlights the rising nationalism and militarism in Pre-War Japan. The map is geared towards children and features Japanese youth involved in a host of military victories as well as doing good deeds in the home islands - like helping an old man bathe.
The essence of the game, generally known as simplified sugoroku, is akin to the western board game, snakes and ladders. Historically there are two variants of sugoroku, one that is similar to backgammon, and the presently offered 'snakes and ladders' variant. This version of the game appeared as early as the 13th century, and was popularized by the rise of printing technology, especially in the Edo and Meiji periods, leading to the production of high-quality visually-arresting gameboards. A standard sugoroku board has a starting point, the furi-dashi, and a winding or spiral path terminating at the agari or finish-line. The gameplay itself, not unlike 'snakes and ladders,' is a race to the finish.


Good. A few minor verso repairs and reinforcements.