Sugoroku (雙六 or 双六) (literally 'double six') refers to two different forms of a Japanese board game: ban-sugoroku (盤双六, 'board-sugoroku') which is similar to western backgammon, and e-sugoroku (絵双六, 'picture-sugoroku') which is similar to western Snakes and Ladders.[1]

Hikone Sugoroku
Man and woman playing ban-sugoroku
(from Hikone Screen)


Ban-sugoroku plays identically to backgammon (it even has the same starting position), except for the following differences:

  • Doubles are not special. If a player rolls doubles, each die still counts only once.
  • There is no "bearing off". The goal is to move all of one's men to within the last six spaces of the board.
  • There is no doubling cube.
  • "Closing out", that is forming a prime of six contiguous points with one or more of opponents men on the bar, is an automatic win.

The game is thought to have been introduced from China (where it was known as Shuanglu) into Japan in the sixth century.

It is known that in the centuries following the game's introduction into Japan it was made illegal several times, most prominently in 689 and 754. This is because the simple and luck-based nature of sugoroku made it an ideal gambling game. This version of sugoroku and records of playing for gambling continuously appeared until early Edo era. In early Edo-era, a new and quick gambling game called Chō-han (丁半) appeared and using sugoroku for gambling quickly dwindled.

This variant of the backgammon family has died out in Japan and most other countries, with the Western style modern backgammon (with doubling-cube) having some avid players.


E-Sugoroku (1925)

A simpler e-sugoroku, with rules similar to snakes and ladders, appeared as early as late 13th century and was made popular due to the cheap and elaborate wooden block printing technology of the Edo period. Thousands of variations of boards were made with pictures and themes from religion, political, actors, and even adult material. In the Meiji and later periods, this variation of the game remained popular and was often included in child-oriented magazines. With ban-sugoroku being obsolete, today the word sugoroku almost always means e-sugoroku.

Other Sugoroku games

Many sugoroku-based video games were released, including: Kiteretsu Daihyakka: Chōjikū Sugoroku, Sugoroku Ginga Senki, Battle Hunter, Ganbare Goemon: Mononoke Sugoroku, Dokodemo Hamster 4: Doki Doki Sugoroku Daibouken!, Hello Kitty: Minna de Sugoroku, Gotouchi Hello Kitty Sugoroku Monogatari, Yu-Gi-Oh! Sugoroku's Board Game, Family Pirate Party, Hidamari Sketch: Doko Demo Sugoroku x 365, and PictureBook Games: Pop-Up Pursuit.

The video game Samurai Warriors 2 features a mini-game named Sugoroku, but it bears very little resemblance to traditional Sugoroku. Instead, it plays very much like Itadaki Street, Wily & Right no RockBoard: That's Paradise, or a simplified version of Monopoly: players take turns in moving around a board, the spaces of which are designated as different territories of Japan. By landing on an unoccupied space, the player is able to buy that space for a set amount of money. If one player lands on a space purchased by another, they must pay a fee to that player, or else can choose to challenge the player for control of that space (utilising the main Samurai Warriors 2 game engine for special challenge games). Also present on the board are "Shrine" spaces, which are roughly analogous to Monopoly's Chance and Community Chest spaces.

The Mario Party series can be seen with heavy influences from sugoroku, especially e-sugoroku.


  1. ^ Rebecca Salter (2006). "Japanese Popular Prints: From Votive Slips to Playing Cards". University of Hawaii Press. p. 164.

External links


Dice (singular die or dice; from Old French déh; from Latin datum "something which is given or played") are small throwable objects that can rest in multiple positions, used for generating random numbers. Dice are suitable as gambling devices for games like craps and are also used in non-gambling tabletop games.

A traditional die is a cube, with each of its six faces showing a different number of dots (pips) from one to six. When thrown or rolled, the die comes to rest showing on its upper surface a random integer from one to six, each value being equally likely. A variety of similar devices are also described as dice; such specialized dice may have polyhedral or irregular shapes and may have faces marked with symbols instead of numbers. They may be used to produce results other than one through six. Loaded and crooked dice are designed to favor some results over others for purposes of cheating or amusement.

A dice tray, a tray used to contain thrown dice, is sometimes used for gambling or board games, in particular to allow dice throws which do not interfere with other game pieces.

Electric Mole

"Electric Mole (エレクトリック・モール)" is a concert video recorded on Ringo Shiina's nationwide "Sugoroku Ecstasy (雙六エクスタシー, Sugoroku Ecstasy)" tour in the summer of 2003. The DVD was released on December 17, 2003 by distributor Toshiba EMI/Virgin Music.

The first pressing of the DVD was available as a special limited edition, entitled "Hardcover Karakuri Book Shiyou (ハードカバー・カラクリ・ブック仕様, Hardcover Trick Book Style)" and included a book attached to the DVD case which included a photographic history of Shiina's life and musical activities over the past five years, as well as bonus video content on the DVD.

Family Pirate Party

Family Pirate Party (Okiraku Sugoroku Wii in Japan) is a pirate-themed party video game developed by Arc System Works for WiiWare. It was released in Japan on January 17, 2009, and later, released in North America on May 11, 2009 and the PAL region on July 30, 2010.

Gacha game

Gacha games are video games that adapt and virtualize the "gacha" (capsule-toy vending machine) mechanic. In the monetization of video games, it is similar to loot boxes, in inducing players to spend money. Most of these games are free-to-play mobile games. In Gacha games, players spend virtual currency, which can be from a machine; however real money is usually eventually spent to obtain the virtual currency and opportunities to use it.

The gacha game model began to be widely used in the early 2010s, faring particularly well in Japan. Almost all of the highest-grossing mobile games in Japan use it, and it has become an integral part of Japanese mobile game culture. Outside Japan, the game type is also gaining popularity. Examples of gacha games are Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius, Fire Emblem Heroes, Puzzle & Dragons, Dragon Collection, Granblue Fantasy, Girls' Frontline, Monster Strike, Fate/Grand Order, and Kingdom Hearts Union X. This type of game is increasingly being developed by Chinese and Korean companies, too; notable examples include Azur Lane (Chinese), MonsterCry Eternal (Korean), and League of Angels (Chinese).

Goemon Mononoke Sugoroku

Goemon: Mononoke Sugoroku (ゴエモンもののけ双六, lit. "Goemon Sugoroku of Mononoke") is a video game for the Nintendo 64, released in 1999. The game is based on the Goemon series and despite the series' relative popularity in the west for the system, the game was released only in Japan.

The game is based on the Japanese board game Sugoroku, populated with Konami's array of Ganbare Goemon characters. Up to four players control two dice, and take it in turns to control Goemon, Ebisumaru, Sasuke, or Yae over prerendered boards that resemble previous locations in the Ganbare Goemon series.

The game features Yae's new outfit that would be used in subsequent titles.


Kasa-obake (Japanese: 傘おばけ) are a mythical ghost or yōkai in Japanese folklore. They are sometimes, but not always, considered a tsukumogami that old umbrellas turn into. They are also called "karakasa-obake" (から傘おばけ), "kasa-bake" (傘化け), and "karakasa kozō" (唐傘小僧).

Keio Flying Squadron

Keio Flying Squadron (慶応遊撃隊, Keiō Yūgekitai) is a series of video games developed by Victor Entertainment and released for the Sega/Mega CD, Sega Saturn, and Sony PlayStation consoles. The series consists of three games and one bonus disc, with each game being of different genre. The first is a side-scrolling shoot 'em up, the second a platformer, and finally a party game.

Players take on the role of Rami Nana-Hikari, a 14-year-old girl who is the newly appointed Secret Keeper of Treasure, a sphere that unlocks a gold reserve set deep in a mountain. The games refer to Japanese culture, both ancient and modern simultaneously.

Kiteretsu Daihyakka

Kiteretsu Daihyakka (キテレツ大百科) (Also known as Kiteretsu Encyclopedia or only Kiteretsu) is a manga series by duo Fujiko Fujio which ran in the children's magazine Kodomo no Hikari from April 1974 to July 1977. The manga was later made into a 331-episode anime television series which ran on Fuji TV from March 27, 1988 to June 9, 1996. A Hindi dub of the anime airs in India on Hungama TV, Disney XD and Cartoon Network. As of September 2016, a remastered version of the series airs on Animax in Japan.

List of Yu-Gi-Oh! characters

The Yu-Gi-Oh! series features an extensive cast of characters created by Kazuki Takahashi. The series takes place in a fictional city in Japan called Domino City, in which most of the characters that appear in the series originate. Many plot elements are also influenced by Egypt and Egyptian mythology, and as such, Egyptian characters also appear within the story.

The original manga of Yu-Gi-Oh! tells the tale of Yugi Mutou, a timid young boy who loves all sorts of games, but is often bullied around. One day, he solves an ancient artifact known as the Millennium Puzzle, causing his body to play host to a mysterious spirit with the personality of a gambler. From that moment onwards, whenever Yugi or one of his friends is threatened by those with darkness in their hearts, this "Dark Yugi" shows himself and challenges them to dangerous "Shadow Games" which reveal the true nature of someone's heart, the losers of these contests often being subjected to a dark punishment called a "Penalty Game". As the series progresses, Yugi and his friends (Katsuya Jonouchi, Anzu Mazaki, Hiroto Honda, Miho Nosaka (in the 1998 series), and later Ryo Bakura) learn that this other Yugi inside of his puzzle is actually the spirit of a nameless Pharaoh from Egyptian times who had lost his memories. As Yugi and his companions attempt to help the Pharaoh regain his memories, they find themselves going through many trials as they wager their lives facing off against others that wield the mysterious Millennium Items and the dark power of the Shadow Games.

The Japanese names in Western order (given name before family name) and English manga names are listed first and the English anime names are listed second, when applicable.

List of traditional Japanese games

This is a list of traditional Japanese games. Some of them are localized.

Mount Kasa

Mount Kasa (笠ヶ岳, Kasa-ga-take) is one of the 100 Famous Japanese Mountains, reaching the height of 2,897 m (9,505 ft). It is situated in Japan's Hida Mountains in Gifu Prefecture and in Chūbu-Sangaku National Park. The shape of the mountain looks like the Umbrella("Kasa"-笠) in the triangle. Therefore, it became this name. There are many mountains with same name in Japan and this is the tallest.


Mutō (武藤 "warrior wisteria") is a Japanese surname. It is also romanized as Muto, Mutoh or Mutou.

Mutou Valley - valley in the Flaming MountainsPeople named Muto include:

Ayami Mutō, singer

Azumi Muto, actress

Hideki Mutoh, race car driver currently racing in the Super GT series

Keiji Muto, pro-wrestler

Masatoshi Muto, Japanese diplomat

Nobuyoshi Mutō, general

Toshiro Muto, Deputy Governor, Bank of Japan

Yoshinori Muto, association football player

Yuki Muto (武藤 雄樹, born 1988), Japanese footballer

Yuki Muto (footballer, born 1995) (武藤 友樹), Japanese footballerFictional characters named Muto:

Akio Mutou, science teacher in the visual novel Katawa Shoujo

Ashirogi Muto of Bakuman.

Kaname Muto of Yahiko no Sakabato

Kazuki Muto of Buso Renkin

Kenji, Shizuka, and Yuki Muto of Lian Hearn's Tales of the Otori trilogy

Nobuyushi Muto

Rikako Muto, female lead from the anime Ocean Waves

Yugi and Sugoroku Mutou of Yu-Gi-Oh!

MUTO, an acronym for "Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism", a species of kaiju featured in the 2014 film GodzillaCompanies:

Mutoh Europe nv

Party Land

Party Land (パーティーランド) is a sugoroku mobile phone game published by Namco in 2006. This game contains 10 playable Namco characters as Crossover and five scenarios based on Mappy, The Tower of Druaga, Valkyrie no Densetsu, Sky Kid and Dig Dug II.

Shōnen Sekai

Shōnen Sekai (少年世界, "The Youth's World"), is one of the first shōnen magazines published by Hakubunkan specializing in children's literature, published from 1895 to 1914. Shōnen Sekai was created as a part of many magazine created by Hakubunkan that would connect with many different parts of society in Japan. Sazanami Iwaya created the Shōnen Sekai magazine after he wrote Koganemaru a modern piece of children's literature. After Japan had a war with Russia, a female adaptation of Shōnen Sekai was created named Shōjo Sekai. Also some children's books were translated to Japanese and published in Shōnen Sekai. The magazine had many features too, such as sugoroku boards and baseball cards. Shōnen Sekai was mentioned in many American books but no series were actually translated.

Tadashi Miyazawa

Tadashi Miyazawa (宮澤 正, Miyazawa Tadashi, born July 12, 1955) is a male Japanese voice actor. He is from Nagano, Japan. He is part of the talent agency KeKKe.

Telenet Japan

Telenet Japan Co., Ltd. (株式会社日本テレネット, Kabushiki-gaisha Nihon Terenetto) was a Japanese video game and software developer founded in October 1983 by Kazuyuki Fukushima. The company was also known as Nippon Telenet (or Nihon Telenet). The company was best known for the Valis series as well as its Wolfteam, Laser Soft and RiOT divisions (the former of which created Tales of Phantasia, the first game in the Tales series). The company's North American subsidiary, Renovation Products was eventually acquired by Sega. The company closed its doors on October 25, 2007. Currently, Sunsoft has acquired Telenet's entire software library, with plans of re-releasing old titles for Virtual Console or remaking them.

Trio The Punch – Never Forget Me...

Trio The Punch: Never Forget Me... (トリオ・ザ・パンチ, torio za panchi) is an arcade game released by Data East in 1990. Chelnov and Karnov, were produced by the same director, and the three games are grouped together by Data East as the Deco-gē Trio (デコゲー3トリオ, dekogē torio).The game was re-released in 2007 as part of Oretachi Gē-sen Zoku (オレたちゲーセン族, lit. "We are the game center race"), a series which ported arcade games from the 1980s and 90s to the PlayStation 2. The mobile phone game company G-mode acquired the rights to the game after Data East's bankruptcy, and a mobile phone version of the game has been released for the Vodafone EZweb network.

Though the game was initially planned as a sugoroku game titled TV Sugoroku Trio the Punch (TVすごろく トリオ・ザ・パンチ), the content was completely changed during production into its released form, according to the arcade game magazine Arcadia (Coin Op'ed Video Game Magazine Arcadia). The sheep from this game later appeared in Suiko Enbu: Fuunsaiki as Makoto Mizoguchi's desperation move.


Tōfu-kozō (Japanese: 豆腐小僧, literally tofu boy) is a yōkai of Japan that takes on the appearance of a child possessing a tray with tōfu on it. It frequently appears in the kusazōshi and kibyōshi and kaidan books from the Edo period, and from the Bakumatsu to the Meiji period, people have become familiar with them as a character illustrated on toys such as kites, sugoroku, and karuta. They can also be seen in senryū, kyōka, e-hon banzuke (pamphlets that introduce the contents of a shibai), and nishiki-e, etc.

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