Anonymous / unknown (artist )
53 Stages of the Tōkaidō (東海道五十三次) theme game board Tōkaidō sugoroku 絵双六 東海道
ca 1863 – 1881
27.5 in x 19.5 in (Overall dimensions) Japanese woodblock print
The goal of this Tokaido sugoroku is to reach the final destination of the Western Capital (Kyoto), which is located in the center of the print. Every player starts at Nihonbashi 日本橋 ("Japan Bridge," the original downtown center of old Edo, now Tokyo), the green square located at the lower right corner. Each player rolls a dice and moves along the board according to the number rolled. If you land at a station with a green circle with 泊 character (means overnight stay), you have to skip your next turn. The penultimate station with tricolor (red/white/yello) ikat-like pattern is the final challenge - if you roll a one, you win - otherwise, you have to go back to the station indicated by the dice.
The board is composed of four oban size woodblock prints, trimmed and pasted together to make a single sheet.
The name sugoroku 双六 literally translates "twin sixes" and probably derives from the two six-faced dice rolled to determine game play.
Picture Sugoroku 絵双六 was first seen in Japan around the 13th Century but became extremely popular during the Edo period due to inexpensive but elaborate woodblock printmaking. Similar to chutes and ladders games, Sugoroku continued to be popular throughout the Meiji and later periods. Children's magazines frequently included sugoroku as inserts.