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46 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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Tsutsumi Kanzo. [Manga sugoroku sekai haya nozoki]. Nagoya(?), Shin Aichi 1931. Colour lithograph broadside, 55x70cm; Folded, a touch of nibbling on one edge; a nice copy with the playing pieces intact in the right margin. Au$750

Sugoroku, these paper racing games, like most genres of Japanese graphics range from the fabulous, through insipid to kitsch to awful to downright disturbing. This one is fabulous. Tsutsumi - one of the great pioneers of modern manga - takes two young aviators on quick world tour and shows them all the most important things. Curious, for me, is that each stop is not headed with the country name but some quality, some spectacle, some activity. Thus meeting Mussolini in Italy is titled 'hero'; for baseball we see see Babe Ruth knocking over a New York skyscraper; tennis is Henri Cochet in France; film is of course Charlie Chaplin in Hollywood; science is a zeppelin in Germany; war is Chiang Kai-shek in China; manners are learnt in England from Ramsay MacDonald; I'm not sure what the gymnastic penguins in the Antarctic represent. And so on round the globe with celebrity and national stereotypes galore.


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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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Kabashima Katsuichi. [Kasei Kuni Tanken Kyoso Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Shonen Kurabu 1927 (Taisho 16). Colour broadsheet; 79x54cm. On the back is another game in monochrome. Some browning a few small holes, pretty decent. Au$650

I proclaim this the masterpiece of Kabashima - a busy illustrator and cartoonist for a few decades. He may be best known as the creator of the comic or manga series starring Shochan - which looked a lot like Herge before Herge did - or perhaps as the artist of ships and planes in turmoil but this meandering voyage to Mars via Saturn tops them all.
This was the new year gift from the kids' magazine Shonen Kurabu (kids' club) and, being printed well in advance, is dated Taisho 16 rather than Showa 2 - the more proper date for 1927. The game on the back is the adventures of Yaji and Kita on the Tokaido. It's neither here nor there.


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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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Kuriki Kojiro. [Oshogatsu Asobi Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Shogaku 1930 (Showa 5). Colour broadside 54x78cm. A bit of browning and short tears in the folds; pretty good. Au$550

The new years gift from the girl's kindergarten magazine of the Shogaku stable. A cheerful sugoroku in which a girl gets to have fun - remarkable enough in itself. And yes, there is a zeppelin down in that corner. The small adverts for the various magazines down the left margin are maybe playing pieces.


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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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Fujimoto Katao. [Jitsuyo Oryori Kondate Manga Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Fujin Sekai 1926 (Taisho 15). Colour broadside 55x79cm. Mildly used, quite a good copy. Au$500

This delightful manga sugoroku celebrates cooking and was the new year gift from the magazine Woman's World.


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Sugoroku. [Kodomo Norimono Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Seugaku Ninensei 1930 (Showa 5). Colour lithograph broadside, 54x78cm. A rather good copy. Au$500

An exciting and vivid jaunt around the world and all forms of transport is the theme here. This was the New Year treat that came with the magazine Seugaku Sophomore (for the second year of primary school). I don't know who those two kids are but they never aged and, with updates in fashion and style, seem to have been on a ceaseless whirl of travel and adventure ever after. For decades new but the same sugorokus appeared. The zeppelin vanished of course, square automobiles became sleek cars, trains went diesel and electric, aeroplanes became jets, and on they went. Perhaps they learnt early what many idle wealthy globe trotters know: that a diet of fine demi-sec and pure cocaine keeps you young forever.


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Shibuya Shigeo & Suzuki Omizu. [Tsuepperin Sekai Isshu Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Nihon Shonen 1930 (Showa 5). Colour broadsheet 54x79cm. Minor signs of use, a little rumpled; a rather good copy with playing pieces - propellors - in the bottom margin. On the back is a duller game about athletics in red, white and blue. Au$500

The new year gift from the boys' magazine Nihon Shonen, this is an heroic, an epic, zeppelin journey around a world that existed somewhere in the minds of writers and illustrators for boys. Every step, every part of nature, every being, is a peril, a hazard to be fought and beaten. Girls win by accepting, boys win by taken a cudgel, or even better a machine gun, to everything in their path.


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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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Inoue Takeo. [Kodomo Katsudo Shashin Sugoroku]. Tokyo Shonen/Shoji Tankai 1927 (Taisho 16). Colour broadsheet 53x79cm. Some small holes and repairs to folds, a reasonable copy. On the back is an unusally exciting monochrome game - the bonus games put on the back rarely amount to much - a shadow game of battling monsters illustrated by Nakano Shoji. Au$500

This cinematic new year gift is from both boys' and girls' magazines, Shonen Tankai and Shoji Tankai. In love of movies at least, boys and girls are equal. Also equal in this game are Hollywood and Japanese cinema - given that Shirley is queen of all. But. Come to making your own movie and the girl gets to operate the camera while the boy directs.


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Aso Yutaka. [Nonki Na Tosan de Kichi Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Hochi Shinbunsha 1925 (Taisho 14). Colour illustrated broadside game (54x79cm). Folded as issued, mild signs of use and browning. With the circular portraits of the characters down the side to be cut out and used as game pieces. Au$475

The new year extra from the newspaper Hochi Shinbun starring Japan's first serial comic strip hero Nonki Na Tosan - usually translated as Easy-going or Lazy Daddy - who first appeared in regular comic strips in the paper the year before. He owed some debt to Jiggs of Bringing Up Father but uncle Nonto was a thoroughly Japanese scapegrace and loafer who quickly made his way into games, toys and, in 1925, a short animated film. Now our game is presented as a film while the information I've found about the film, and all the toys, suggests that they were piracies; comic characters were not protected by copyright. Perhaps an all round notion that popular comic strips and film are natural partners explains what may or may not be a coincidence.
This may be Nonto's first sugoroku but it certainly wasn't his last. Come the early thirties as the manga craze blossomed our hero was often teamed with Mickey Mouse and Betty Boop - something of a holy trinity. As said, uncle Nonto is a loafer and this game follows him through a series of disastrous attempts at holding down a job.


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Tanaka Higara. [Shojo Supotsu Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Shojo Kurabu 1927 (Taisho 16). Colour broadsheet 54x79. A rather good copy. On the back are photographs and details of heroines of Japanese sport printed in blue. Au$425

Stylish indeed but not printed on the best paper, this sugoroku is hard to find still in one piece. This was the new year gift from the girl's magazine Shojo Kurabu - Girl's Club. There are not so many sugoroku in which girls get to be unashamedly athletic and competitive.


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Advertising Sugoroku. [Shobai Hanei Sugoroku]. Tokyo printed, Notagawa Ekimae Shoten 1935 (Showa 10). Colour broadside 79x55cm. Minor signs of use, a pretty good copy. Au$400

A proper aspirational sugoroku for girls and young women. Prosperity is the reward for the perfect modern girl: good husband, handsome family and shopping, shopping shopping. This shopping game advertises the glamorous range of businesses in Notagawa - now part of Higashiomi, more or less half way between Kyoto and Nagoya. The same game, relabelled, was used for businesses of Matsumoto City. A very similar - a few panels the same - but not so modern game - more kimonos, fewer cars, furs and bobbed or marcelled heads - with the same title was issued the year before by the newspaper Tokyo Nichinichi Shinbun for readers in the Iwamurata-machi area. You don't waste a good idea and a decent bit of artwork.


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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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Nakamura Susumu [&] Hosokibara Seiki [&] [Shin'an Supotsu Sugoroku [&] Unmei Unsei Dokusen-ban]. Tokyo, Asahi 1929 (Showa 4). Broadsheet 54x79cm, colour game on one side, game printed in blue on the other. Quite good. Au$400

1929's new year gift from Asahi is a stylish if fun-free game of sports. No smiles here, winning is a serious business. What I learn from this is that if you want to meet girls then table tennis is the game. Nowhere else are they in sight. The game on the back is outwardly much plainer but it is fun; there are a lot of pretty good drawings and cartoons by Hosokibara Seiki.


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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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Hayashi Tadaishi. [Sekai Haya Mawari Hiko Kyoso Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Nihon Shonen 1928 (Showa 3). Colour broadsheet 55x76. On the back is another game - a warship battle seemingly taking place among coral atolls - printed in blue. Trimmed a bit close on one side. Au$375

A flying race around the world - so the title tells us - maybe, if you consider the northern hemisphere the whole world. This was the new year gift from the boys' magazine Nihon Shonen.


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Sugoroku. [Kagayaku Nihon Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Seugaku Sophomore, Ist January, 1938 (Showa 13). Colour printed broadside 53x79cm, folded as issued. Minor signs of use, one short marginal tear. Au$350

The New Year treat from the magazine Seugaku Sophomore (for the second year of primary school) and come 1938 the fun is gone. Our globe trotting young couple from earlier sugoroku look frighteningly serene and the world, and war, and life, is no longer a riotous cartoon. When 'Shining Japan' - Kagayaku Nihon, the name of this game - became a motto for war in Asia I'm not sure.
The Shining Japan Exposition - a military display no matter how many white doves fluttered over the battleships - was in 1936 and Japan was long a crusader fighting for Pan-Asian peace, liberated from colonialism. The name surfaces still, used by ultra nationalists in Japan.


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Advertising Sugoroku. [Shobai Hanei Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Sankosha 1935 (Showa 10). Colour broadside 80x56cm, folded as issued. Minor signs of use, a pretty good copy. Au$350

Prosperity and glamour is the reward for the perfect modern girl: good husband, handsome family and shopping, shopping shopping. This shopping game advertises the glamorous range of businesses in Notagawa - now part of Higashiomi, more or less half way between Kyoto and Nagoya. The same game, relabelled, was used for businesses of Matsumoto City. A very similar - a few panels the same - but not so modern game - more kimonos, fewer cars, furs and bobbed or marcelled heads - with the same title was issued the year before by the newspaper Tokyo Nichinichi Shinbun for readers in the Iwamurata-machi area. You don't waste a good idea and a decent bit of artwork.


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Mineda Hiroshi. [Sekai Shingata Norimono Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Kodansha 1926 (Taisho 15). Colour broadside, 55x79. Mildly used, a short tear repaired and a nick in the bottom margin; pretty good. Au$350

In this new year gift game the kids already have the glazed faces of over privileged world travellers. The only time they show excitement is when defying death by riding on top of an electric train.


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Kobayashi [Eijiro?] [Daisokuryoku Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Osanago 1926 (Taisho 15) Colour broadside 77x53cm. A bit of misfolding and a couple on tiny holes, pretty good. Au$350

Reckless speed for the smaller kids, this was the new year gift from the magazine Osanago. The girls ride pillion but they do get to go fast.


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Kuriki Kojiro. [Kyokun Manga Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Shogaku 1927 (Showa 2). Colour broadside 54x78cm. Some splodges and a small hole, not a bad copy. Au$325

The new years gift from the boy's first grade magazine of the Shogaku stable. A bright sugoroku in which, as I see it, most of the fun is what we are warned against. The title was used for more than one sugoroku.


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Niizeki Kennosuke (?) [Boken Manga Takarajima Tanken Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Shogakukan 1935 (Showa 10). Colour broadside 54x78cm. A bit used: rumpled with some short tears in folds. Not bad. Au$325

This exciting adventure with the natives, giant apes and tigers of a coral island was the new year gift from the Shogaku magazine for third graders. An exemplary lesson as to why every eight year old should be issued a service revolver before they leave the house.


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