Sugoroku Magic – Princess Yuki

Scan copy

Princess Yuki from a Sugoroku Board by Kunichika – 1860’s

The image above is the top centre panel from an amazing Sugoroku game board designed by the artist Toyoharu Kunichika in the 1860’s. You can see the whole board at the Toshidama Gallery website by clicking this link: Sugoroku Board.

The gallery gives plenty of information about the game and how the board works; these posts are about the individual squares and what they mean.

The Daimyo, Daizen is one  of the famous villains from kabuki theatre and one of the famous scenes in which he appears is the one pictured here, a tremendous game of go performed during the play, Kinkakuji.

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A Scene from Gion Sairei Shinkoki

The image above is of the same scene from a contemporary performance. The website, kabuki A – Z provided the image. The powerful and wicked warlord – in the big wig – has killed the shogun and captured his mother. He lives in great luxury indulging his passion for the board game go. Tokichi arrives and challenges him to a game and wins… further challenges reveal Tokichi to be a master strategist. Princes Yuki – seen in the pictures above is a captive of Daizen, but she escapes his clutches by conjuring mice that she has drawn with her toes in the sand, commanding them to gnaw through the ropes that bind her. Tokichi it turns out has been sent to rescue her and kill the wicked Daizen.

A full account of the plot can be found at the terrific site kabuki21 . The presence of the scene on a sugoroku of magical scenes is presumably because Yuki-hime is a magician and conjurer a fact possibly signified by the spider web drawn in the background. Daizen is pictured on the left and Tokichi is seen on the right of the table.

About toshidama

Toshidama Gallery sells original nineteenth century Japanese woodblock prints. We source our prints from around the world and only stock original, authenticated works of museum quality.
This entry was posted in Floating World, japanese woodblock prints, kabuki theatre, Kunichika, Sugoroku, supernatural Japanese print and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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