The Amazing “Sugoroku” Board Game Provides a Historical Insight of Japan’s World View!?!


“Sugoroku” is a Japanese board game (similar to backgammon or snakes and ladders) that became popular in Japan in the late 19th century and the background content provide a unique window or insight into Japan. These were brought into the possession in the library of Princeton University in New Jersey in 1926 and it became an important archive due to the popular response of foreigners all over the world.

If you see bigger the pictures, just click the pictures.

Japan on the World Stage of Sugoroku (1926)


First, the unique positioning of the world map 90 degrees (Hidarigakita, Upper East) showcasing major ocean routes at that time and the dominant position of Europe along with an interesting view of the United States from Japan is captured on this particular board layout.

Reactions of People Who Viewed This

・Does the Taj Mahal and a Christ-like cross have any relation?
・Do Cannibals live in Borneo?
・This Japan map features a surprisingly smaller Japan
・The Woolworth Building was a symbol of New York City in the 1920’s?


Boy Around the World Sugoroku (1909)


Children Play Sugoroku (1917)


Modern Women Sugoroku (1913)


Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere World Travel Sugoroku (1944)


Science Osaka Kyoiku Cartoon – Atomic Sugoroku (1950)

What did you think? It is very interesting interest at the time of Japanese history have been reflected in content layout of this board game!