Sugoroku “boards”

Hot damn are paper “Sugoroku” game board sheets just the coolest! The 300 year old board game akin to Chutes and Ladders (“Snakes and Ladders” for you Europeans), is aimed at adults and children alike, is a New Year’s tradition in Japan and has even been perverted for gambling uses.

Game play and long history aside, I just love these multi-property collage sheets, often done by third party artists under mysterious or completely absent proper licensing. There isn’t a property or genre that hasn’t seen a Sugoroku adaptation.

We featured a great cartoony board a few year’s back here. Now here’s two more ninja and hooded hero themed pieces I just adore.

This one encapsulates several different chambara heroes with multi-film franchises, with an eye for some dramatic hooded costumes.

This newer piece is based on Mitsuteru Yokoyama manga, Kamui and Watari from Shirato Sanpei and various kiddie properties like Ninja Hatori Kun.

I don’t recognize the hero slightly left of center, but man is he chill and just happy to kill…

 

VN REVISITED – Shinobi-based ‘Sugoroku’ game

Originally published February, 2010

Have owned this “sugoroku” illustrated game board for years but am finally discovering the actual nature of it.

Click the image for a huge-ass scan of this.

Essentially a Japanese version of Chutes and Ladders, these thin paper game boards have been produced for centuries in one form or another (read here about an older version of the game based on backgammon and made illegal twice in Japanese history).

I’ve seen several based on chambara, tokusatsu and boys adventure anime, but this one is a melting pot of various ninja properties – or is at least meant to EVOKE those properties. Yeah, I’m thinking characters owned by multiple studios or TV networks appearing on one product means unlicensed…

Man, some of this art is just precious. Without being able to read the captions, I’m seeing illos that are certainly meant to be Masked Ninja Akakage and Kagemaru of Iga there, and a villain that could be a skull shocker from Lion Maru or a shinobi-fied Golden Bat.

Translations anyone?