Sugoroku Board Games: Roll the Dice and Have Fun!

You know what it is sugoroku? Have you ever heard about those board games where you roll a dice to advance several spaces and reach the end? There is no specific name for this type of game, but some refer to the name of the first invented western game called snakes and stairs.

In Japanese this game is called Sugoroku [双六], in this article we will see some curiosities about this game in Japan and the West. The word sugo-roku [双-六] literally means pair [双] of six [六], probably referring to the 2 dice used to play (also spelled 雙六).

The word can be used to refer to any classic style game to roll the dice, advance spaces and carry out what is written on each stationary square. This word can also be used to refer to the traditional japanese board game similar to the classic backgammon (ban-sugoroku).

Sugoroku - board games of rolling the dice

The story of Sugoroku

The first bansugoroku game is similar to backgammon, with few differences, such as invented rules or cutting rules each time we play something with someone different. The game is believed to have been introduced to China and brought to Japan in the 6th century. Like backgammon, the game was banned for becoming a game of chance.

Soon the gambling game called chouhan [丁半] appeared and killed the traditional ban-sugoroku. At the end of the 13th century, the traditional game of throwing dice and moving spaces on the board appeared in Japan under the name of esugoroku. Thousands of boards were made with different themes involving religion, politics and even adult things.

Na Meiji era and other periods In later years, this style of play became so popular that it was frequently featured in children's magazines. With ban-sugoroku obsolete, the word sugoroku is almost always used to refer to the board games of playing dice and moving houses.

Sugoroku - board games of rolling the dice

Different boards in sugoroku

There are thousands of current games that have revolutionized the board game style of playing double dice to advance houses, among them are the famous real estate banking games like Monopoly or Game of Life.

Children in elementary school often create sugoroku boards with challenges in each house where the unlucky one who stops needs to do (episode 8 of asobi asobase). There are countless different ways to play, it can be with just one dice, it can be endless boards, there are no rules! You make up your rules!

In addition to the traditional board games of playing and moving dice, even vídeo games used this lucky scheme to create their own board games like Mario Party, Kiteretsu Daihyakka and many Japanese spin-off games from different franchises that bear the name of sugoroku.

What do you think of board games of playing dice and moving pieces? If you liked the article, share it with your friends and leave your comments.

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