@Sugoroku and Culture

The Scenery Where the Paper Sugoroku is

From the President
The season word of Sugoroku in Haiku is, needless to say, the New Year.
We would like to introduce Haiku and Tanka where Sugoroku is composed in. And also seasonal words glossaries and referring books, where the profound knowledge about Sugoroku are stored.

Images contained in Sugoroku may be, family, communication, children, parents and children, life, New Year scenery, so called plays in public. Some Sugorokian might think that it's all over nowadays. But it's a fact that the New Year issues of magazines for boys and girls are providing Sugoroku featuring popular characters as their appendix still now. What makes it? Might it be the reason that such mails are still sent to the editorial department of magazines as saying "We played Sugoroku with all family members. It made a fun!" ?

I am accustomed to check magazine appendixes at book store nearby in every December. Despite of my shame a little, it's my duty of Museum President (an exaggeration, isn't it?). "Sugoroku play with the future warrior Time Ranger" by Monthly Otomodachi (playmates) / Kodansha, "Pocket Monster, Ton-ton Battle Sugoroku" on the face, "Jenny's Oshare-up (smarter wearing?) Sugoroku" on the back of First Grader's Monthly / Shou-gaku-kan are found in their New Year editions of 2001. Sugoroku is alive still now!

By the way, there are many Haikus and Tankas that composed Sugoroku in. My favorite among those is the Haiku as follows;

There flutter flowers and birds of SugorokuOn Tatami mats @@
by Hashimoto Keiji

This Haiku is very elegant and colorful. Please draw an image in your mind while referring Shunkyou-harimaze-sugoroku or Hatsuharu-kakizome-sugoroku in our collection, how does it work? Sugoroku with gorgeous flowers, birds and moon is spread over Tatami, competing its beauty with colorful long sleeve Kimonos of the playing girls. This Haiku must have been made in time where the Paper Sugoroku was most commonly played. It should be hard to compose a computer game into Haiku, shouldn't it?

It's that Usa-chu to coach Oni-hei Who cannot make Agari (goal) well enoughIn the actor's Sugoroku in one spring of big Edo

By the way, this Tanka belongs to my favorite too. Oni-hei alias Hasegawa Heizou is the hero of famous Onihei-hankachou (case chronicle) by Ikenami Shoutarou, the chief commander in Edo governmental police for arson and robbing. Usa-chu is his subordinate Kimura Chugo. So this Tanka was composed from a scene in the novell.

The New Year is only exceptional relaxing days for Oni-hei who otherwise is a stern boss always. He chose Usa-chu, a blunder but lovable one, as the playing partner of Sugoroku at home, is getting less successes in the game against Usa-chu. Usa-chu, on the other hand, takes this very opportunity to coach his boss Oni-hei how and then of the game. A bit warm afternoon in the New Year, white plum blooms, high spirited Usa-chu and mortified Oni-hei.

Oni-hei's wife Hisae is suppressing her laughter on the scene over a fusuma (room partition)while preparing the New Year's cook for the players. The widely spread is the most fashionable one at the time, the actor's Sugoroku Atari-kyougen-furiwake-sugoroku. The best roles of each Kabuki actors are drawn in 21 blocks in fan-, cloud-, strip- formed or colored paper slips, so no one can help in loving this Sugoroku in Edokko (Edo dweller). A paper Sugoroku on which the female role of Sawamura Tanosuke and Kawarazaki Gonjurou's pose with his all power are printed, and two samurais playing it. .... A scene of a New Year in big Edo.

Are you asking who made this Tanka, really? Its author is our Museum President himself......! Sorry for having wasted your time here, please enjoy the next pages!

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