1868. A geographical board game created in Japan during the Meiji period when the Emperor was opening Japanese society to Western influences. Roughly translated the Japanese title is, "Countries by Cruise Ship." The game starts with the key in the lower center of the board, with six circles which correspond to color coded regions of the world; Asia (yellow); Europe (red); North America (blue); South America (yellow); Africa (red); Australia (blue). It culminates in the top margin at Mount Fuji. There are 100 squares in 8 rows on the board, and each box within the row has an associated image and text in Japanese; some images correspond with the landscape of the destination - others are quite imaginary. Besides landscapes, there are many birds and animals (elephant, monkey, oxen, antelope, camel), ships and flags. There are soldiers, bathers, a man reading in a chair, Tartars and some Westerners. The indigenous people at the North Pole are wearing only loin cloths, sitting next to a fire.
The title appears in three different languages at the right border of the game, first in French "Navigation et prominade der Morde" (sic), then in English, "Puzzle for Navigating or Wandering the World", then in Japanese. Further down on right margin are instructions for playing (in Japanese)- 'Roll dice' and 'How to play', 'New Year's Day - Yokahama', 'January 1868', 'New edition' and possibly the name of the creator of the game.
Above the image in the each box is a series of numbers and names which correspond to the number of days it takes to sail to a location. The North American region includes Mexico with a conestoga wagon in Row 3 Box 1 (or 3-1) ; Columbia, South of the US (5-3) (buildings); New York (5-2) (men farming/scythe); San Francisco (8-6) (red roof), Washington, D.C. (2-5) with an image of the Capitol dome; (8-15) is the North Pole. The Asiatic region displays: Beijing (2-2) identified with a wall and covered urns; Chosen (Korea) with a tiger (2-3) ; Siam (4-1) (King); Sumatra (6-3); Siberia (7-3); Kirghiz (8-3); Siberia (7-3); Ryukyu (2-2); Tokyo (5-1) (with soldiers); Canton (4-4) (tea ceremony); Hong Kong (4-5); Taiwan (4-6); Peking (1-5); Tartary (5-9); Persia (3-9) (bathers wearing leaf skirts (?); Constantinople (1-7) with a mosque dome and the crescent on top with a red designed flag; Manchuria (5-5); Ceylon (5-12) with stacked tea bales and warehouse; (6-7) is a port in India (with a camel). The Australian region includes Sydney (8-2) (water, hills, a domed and rectangular buildings); New Zealand (7-13) with a many-masted early ship at shore, possibly one of Captain Cook's ships, flying a flag of St. George; the Antarctic/South Pole (or Port) (5-4) (ice/sea). European locales displayed include: London (1-1) with a bridge over the Thames; Lisbon (2-1); Austria (1-2) (two small animals); Greece (3-6) with a blue and white striped flag; Amsterdam (2-6); Denmark (3-10) ; Paris (1-7) a group of Westerners erecting (or pulling down) a rope line hung with flags, a few French and another red flag with diagonal cross bars; St. Petersburg (1-3); (5-7) is the Mediterranean; Paris (7-4) with two men sitting at an outdoor table, presumably at a café. Africa is represented by Canary (image of a globe) (6-13). Many of the locations were not identifiable, and those that were identified were done so by Japanese speakers.
The game board measures 35 x 21.5" with 1/2 to 1" additional border. Woodblock with original hand color. Sometimes worn at original folds, some loss at a few of those intersections, a couple of old wormholes, backed on tissue, 1.5" square at bottom border with loss of text. The images are clear. Otherwise very good condition. Item #22598