Rhiannon Paget is the Andrew W. Mellon Fellow for Japanese Art at the Saint Louis Art Museum and co-curator of the museum’s exhibition “Conflicts of Interest: Art and War in Modern Japan.” She has published research on prints, textiles, and painting, the most recent of which is the book Hiroshige & Eisen: The 69 Stations along the Kisokaido, co-authored with Andreas Marks, due out in 2017.

Games of Conquest: Sugoroku of Imperial and Wartime Japan

Fig. 1. Watanabe Nobukazu, Fukushima chōsa ensei sugoroku (Pictorial Board and Dice Game: Lieutenant Colonel Fukushima’s Expedition, 1893), set of joined color woodblock prints, 80.8 × 50.2 cm overall. Published by Yokoyama Enshō. Saint Louis Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Lowenhaupt 839:2010a-f.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, mass-produced printed board games celebrated Japan’s astonishing rise as a military and imperial power. Called sugoroku, these objects have not received a great deal of scholarly attention Read More