@The History of Sugoroku

The Game Board of Ur, 3200 BC

Where, when, in which country and how has sugoroku been born?
Sugoroku is a type of board games like Shogi, Igo or Chess. One of the oldest board games is exhibited in the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad. (This museum is said to have been bombed by American Airforce through the Persian Gulf War in 1990)

Among all, the game board of 2600 BC which is excavated in the king's tomb of the third Ur dynasty in southern Iraqi is the most elegant and exquisite, thus called Royal Game of Ur. It is decorated with jewelry and patched on the board face and side with block formed or eye formed shell blade mosaic.

This game's rule has been determined in England where is acknowledged as the most advanced place in its researches in the history of games. According to I. Finckel, vice division manager of Western Asian Archeology in the British Museum, "the Ur game is a racing game played by 2 players. Players advance their pieces from the starting block to the finish block. It uses one triangular pyramid formed dice and 5 black and white pieces each. It has fairly complicated playing rule. For example, you can forward to 13th block when the number of dice turns to 2, you can throw dice twice when you hit one of 5 Rosetta blocks and so on".

It is said there were some game boards in Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad which should be made in the 1st Ur dynasty or earlier. These boards are called mushroom type, are the origin of racing game. It has been proved that these game boards originated in Ur had been used for play then in various wider areas such as Palestine, Pakistan and Iran. The form of the board has varied into so many shapes like hippopotamus, snake or racket form, and the carving and decoration technique became more technically elaborate.

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