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61 items found:

Ikeda Eisen [aka Keisei Eisen]. [Shinpan Edo no Hana Gofukuya Sugoroku] [Tokyo], Yamashiroya Matabe [1820 - 1850?]. Woodblock print 67x46cm, printed in black, blue and pink; folded. Smudges and soiling, a couple of small chips from the top edge. A pretty decent copy. Au$1250

Another lesson, if we need it, that the Japanese had connected and mastered the important stuff of life long before the rest of us: advertising, fun and shopping. In this sugoroku - a racing game - Eisen takes us through the most prestigious dry goods stores and drapers - ie high fashion - of Edo (Tokyo) until we reach Ebisu and Daikokuten - gods, respectively, of merchants and wealth. In other words, who isn't this game for?
Every working Edo inhabitant with a speck of ambition will want a place among the great merchants, rubbing shoulders with such gods while their wealthy patrons have confirmed that their shopping habits are blessed by the gods. The titans of fashionable commerce here include Echigoya (now Mitsukoshi), Shirokiya (which lasted some three hundred years, its ghost is a department store in Honolulu), Iwaki Sotoya, Matsuzakaya (still going), Ebisuya, Daimaru (still going), Shimaya, Sawanoi and Izukura.
Eisen did more than one sugoroku: this, one of more prosaic sights of Edo, one of the Tokaido road, and an elaborate sort of fourth one - the set of courtesan prints which together form a game - are the ones I've traced. I've found two other copies of this shopping adventure, in the UC Berkeley library and in the fabulous sugoroku collection of the Edo Tokyo Museum. They are printed in yellow rather than blue.


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Paper Game. Nieuw Stoombootspel. Rotterdam, T.J. Wijnhoven Hendriksen [c1835]. Woodcut broadside (41x33cm). A horizontal fold, an outstanding copy. Au$750

Racing games like this often celebrate the new, the noteworthy, the latest craze. The steamboat might have been around for a few years but it hadn't lost its gloss judging by the games that re-appeared through the 1830s. This game, signed P. Emans, seems to have been printed at least four or five times through the twenties and thirties judging by the various colophons. All but one I've found are Hendriksen's; the exception is a Delft printing dated 1832 which, if this printing is from around 1835 as the experts say, indicates that the block was lent or rented.
Buijnsters and Buijnsters-Smets (Papertoys p272-3 - illustrating this copy) suggest this boat may be the 'Dutchman', built in 1823.


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Paper Game. Het Vermakelijk Harlekijnspel. Amsterdam, J. Viegler [188-?]. 57x43cm colour litho game on paper. A rather good copy. Au$75


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Tram Game. Tramway Spel. Amsterdam, J. Viegler [c1880]. 435x575mm colour litho game on paper. A rather good copy. Au$200

A Dutch racing game presumably co-produced with the cocoa maker van Houten. Amsterdam's trams began running in 1875 and you can be sure the game makers were at work within minutes. There is a version of this without the advertisements on the trams - which are obvious additions when you compare them - published by Ellerman Harms; doubtless Viegler got the rights and made a deal with van Houten. It wasn't long before writers were complaining about the disfiguring surfeit of advertising on trams all round the world.


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Monkey Game. Het Apenspel. n.p. [188-?]. 61x46cm colour litho game on paper. Edges a bit ragged and some repaired clean tears. Au$150

A Dutch racing game for devotees of monkeys - and who isn't? It seems counter intuitive these days but the object is to get into the zoo.


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Boer War paper game. SCHLETTE, E.G. Boer-en Rooinekspel. Amsterdam, Koster [190-?]. 56x79cm colour lithograph. Creasing and a couple of short tears repaired in the margin. Au$150

A bright and cheery racing game.


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Hikifuda & Sugoroku. [Nichiro Kinen Sugoroku]. n.p. [1905?]. Colour lithograph 26x37cm. A bit smudged and rumpled, pretty good. Au$300

I have seen a few hikifuda made as sugoroku but they have been staid affairs featuring birds, flowers and graceful women in flowing kimonos. This exuberant advertisement game celebrates the Russo-Japanese war victory.
These hikifuda - small posters or handbills - were usually produced with the text panel blank. The customer, usually a retailer, had their own details over printed.


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Takeuchi Keishu & Iwaya Sazanami. [Shin'an keiba Yugi]. Tokyo, Shonen Sekai 1906 (Meiji 39). Colour broadside 53x79cm. A nice copy with the playing pieces and extra bits intact. Au$125

In this steeplechase game - the new year gift from the boys' magazine Shonen Sekai - artist Takeuchi and writer Iwaya share credit. While that's not so uncommon with sugoroku I'm not sure what the writer had to do here. At the same time that Takeuchi was doing illustrations for children's magazines he was also producing refined ukiyo-e albums of porn. They look nothing like this.


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Kaburagi Kiyokata & Miyagawa Haru? [Boken Sugoroku]. Shonenkai 1906 (Meiji 39). Colour broadside 47x63cm. Folded as issued, rather good. Au$300

Don't be fooled by the elegant and delicate artwork. This new year gift from the boy's magazine Shonenkai is filled with adventure, peril and slaughter. Nothing with fur, fin or feather - if large enough - is safe from these boys on their jaunt round the world. When they aren't shooting eagles they are clubbing seals.
No artist is named but a 2016 exhibition at the Shinjuku Historical Museum attributed this game to Kaburagi and Miyagawa.


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Otake Kokkan. [Shogaku Kyoka Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Shonen Sekei 1907 (Meiji 40). Colour broadside 78x54cm. Quite a nice copy. Au$385

School life for small boys and girls; this was the new year gift from the boys' magazine Shonen Sekai. Boys and girls learn to read but then their ways seem to part: boys learn about rats while girls do flowers, boys learn to count while girls sew, boys write while girls fold paper. Otake by 1907 was a well regarded, prize winning, Nihonga painter who was firm about maintaining Japanese tradition but like many such artists was a busy producer of prints and illustrator of magazines, books and advertisements.


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Nakazawa Hiromitsu, Kobayashi Shokichi & Okano Sakae. [Toyo Mirai Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Hakubunkan 1907 (Meiji 40). Colour printed broadside, 55x78cm. Minor flaws and signs of use, some ink splodges on the back. Au$650

A view, or a panoply of views, of a future Asia. Some of these vignettes of what's to come are obvious enough - schoolgirls at rifle drill and sumo wrestlers in striped bathers - but a few seem fairly recondite to me. I'm not sure how much is optimistic, how much is dire warning and how much is wearily stoic.
Nakazawa, Kobayashi and Okano, still young, had been fellow students at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, and of Kuroda Seiki, and collaborated on the five volume Nihon Meisho Shasei Kiko, issued over several years.


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Nakazawa Hiromitsu, Kobayashi Shokichi & Okano Sakae. [Toyo Mirai Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Hakubunkan 1907 (Meiji 40). Colour printed broadside, 55x78cm. Edges nibbled, a small ink splodge, a bit browned; quite good. Au$425

A view, or a panoply of views, of a future Asia. Some of these vignettes of what's to come are obvious enough - schoolgirls at rifle drill and sumo wrestlers in striped bathers - but a few seem fairly recondite to me. I'm not sure how much is optimistic, how much is dire warning and how much is wearily stoic.
Nakazawa, Kobayashi and Okano, still young, had been fellow students at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, and of Kuroda Seiki, and collaborated on the five volume Nihon Meisho Shasei Kiko, issued over several years.


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Aviation Game. Helder's Vlieg-Spel. Zwolle, Helder's Biscuits [1909?]. 44x64cm colour litho game on paper. Folded and a touch rumpled; rather good. With a list of the biscuit range down the right side. Au$550

A splendid race game featuring plenty of bumps, crashes and engine failures and the earliest forms of the monoplane. Did the monoplane in the centre panel exist?
1909 was the big year for air shows and game makers weren't slow so 1909 is a sensible date to put on this. I can find only one record of another copy of this - in the Seville collection - and this, he said humbly, is a much better copy.


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Kimoto Motoo. [Shin'an Meiji Fujin Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Fujin Sekai 1910 (Meiji 43). Colour lithograph 55x79cm. Rumpled, a short tear repaired; used but very decent. Au$200

An aspirational record of the life of the modern Meiji woman. Women do work, as telephonists, as teachers, typesetters, maybe even as a doctor, and all can be balanced with a satisfying family life. This was the new year gift from the magazine, Fujin Sekai: Woman's World.


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Kawabata Ryushi [Nijuyon Toki Katei]. Tokyo, Fujin Sekai 1912 (Meiji 45). Colour broadside 54x78cm. A bit used, a few small holes in folds. Au$400

The new year gift from the magazine Fujin Sekai - Woman's World - charting the day in the busy but calm and most decorative life of the successful woman - wife and mother.
Kawabata's career took a curious turn during a 1913 stay in America to study western painting. Apparently he was so impressed with the Japanese art he saw in Boston he switched to being a Nihonga painter. Still, he remained being an illustrator for magazines for quite some time. As did most of the early to mid 20th century artists now revered.


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Kobayashi Eijiro. [Taisho Shonen Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Shonen Sekai 1915 (Taisho 4). Colour broadside 54x79cm. A touch browned and minor signs of use; pretty good. Au$250

A gift from the boys' magazine Shonen Sekai and, as always with boys' sugoroku, packed with excitement and adventure. Girls sometimes get to watch in awe.


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Kawabata Honami [Shin'an Otogi Misemono Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Yonen no Tomo 1916 (Taisho 5). Colour broadside 53x78cm. Edges nibbled, some browning and a couple of small flaws but pretty good. Au$485

This utopian view of a kids' paradise was the New Year gift from the magazine Yonen no Tomo. It's hard to find. This is a model for a new kind of fun palace that has a lot in common with the modern department store, which usually had fun for kids and a cafe at the top. In this case all the boring stuff - like clothes - has been stripped out and the whole emporium turned over to fun.


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Kawabata Ryushi. [Shonen Gunkan Sugoroku]. Tokyo,Nihon Shonen 1917 (Taisho 6) 54x78cm colour broadside. Top edge nibbled, minor signs of use. Au$425

A boy's celebration of the navy; this game was the new year gift from the magazine Nihon Shonen.
Kawabata's career took a curious turn during a 1913 stay in America to study western painting. Apparently he was so impressed with the Japanese art he saw in Boston he switched to being a Nihonga painter. Still, he remained being an illustrator for magazines for quite some time. As did most of the early to mid 20th century artists now revered.


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Fujiwara Ritsuta. [Sorakai Seifuku Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Shonen 1918 (Taisho 7). Colour broadside 79x55cm. A nice copy. Au$600

A delight - the rigours of flying school explained with the careful attention to truth and detail of a Heath Robinson. This was the new year gift from the magazine Shonen.


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Akashi Seiichi. [Fujin Nama Hi Tate Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Fujin Sekai 1918 (Taisho 7). Colour broadside 78x54cm. A bit of unnecessary folding, quite a good copy. Au$220

A fortunate life for a girl from cradle to bride. She must have opened her mouth and said something during these years but as she is well brought up we never see her lips move. This was the new year gift from the magazine Fujin Sekai - Woman's World.


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Akashi Seiichi. [Kodakara Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Fujin Sekai 1919 (Taisho 8). Colour printed broadsheet 54x79cm. A bit used, some browning and a couple of small holes in folds; pretty good. Au$300

The new year gift from the magazine Fujin Sekai - Woman's World - is a colourful hymn to the joys of having children.


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Sugiura Hisui. [Shonen Sekai Kyoso Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Shonen Sekai 1919 (Taisho 8). Colour broadside 54x78cm. A couple of small nicks in a margin; rather good with playing pieces intact in the left margin. Au$400

Sports, sports and more sports in this game - the new year gift from the boys' magazine Shonen Sekai. If you look at portraits of the champion of modern design and fastidious dandy, Sugiura, it's hard to imagine anyone less inclined to jump and sweat. But maybe I misjudge him.


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Morita Hisashi. [Sekai Yume Ryoko Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Sekai Shonen 1919 (Taisho 8). Colour broadside 79x54cm. Used with several tears in folds and an old repair. Au$100

A good sugoroku but not a great copy, this dream adventure was the new year gift from the boys' magazine Sekai Shonen. Morita was a busy illustrator and art director for the Takarazuka Revue through the twenties.


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Sugoroku. [Diasan Sugoroku]. Osaka, Morishita 1921 (Taisho 10) Colour broadside 54x78cm. A nice copy. Au$450

A rare and cheerful promotional game for New Year from a friendly drug company. I don't know exactly what Diasan did - it was some kind of digestive - but it clearly made you healthy and happy.


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Yamada Takanori. [Shonen Yakyu Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Shonen Sekai 1921 (Taisho 10). Colour broadside 55x79cm. Used, a bit rumpled and browned with some short tears and a small chip in the margin. This is - some mitigation - an untrimmed copy with ample margins and trim marks in the top margin. Not bad. Au$500

An early and rare baseball sugoroku, this was the new year gift from the boys' magazine Shonen Sekai. Baseball has cameos in earlier games but I haven't yet found an earlier sugoroku devoted to it.


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