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The useful in the useless 1

The following is small something thrown in for English readers;

'Go' and 'Shogi', both intelligent and traditional games, are very popular in Japan.

It is something suggestive that both the games were originated in India, however setting this interest aside, 'Go' has already been spread all over the world while 'Shogi' has also been gaining popularity steadily but strictly partly because that 'Shogi' and chess are very like a couple.

In Japan professional players of 'Go' or 'Shogi' are very highly  eval uated and popularized even not so much as Beckham of the Real Madrid.


The following is a main story;

I like both 'Go' and 'Shogi'. My ability of 'Go' is about 4-dan, rather strong, and 'Shogi' is about 1-dan, a good degree.

It is a little bit difficult to be absorbed in enjoying “Go' and 'Shogi' these days due to too much overseas business but I once enjoyed both before NHK's education channel every Sunday. 'Shogi' hour was from 10 am to noon and 'Go' hour from noon till 2 pm without a break. I even felt that Sunday was over after having enjoyed those hours.

In the 'Go' world Japan's position has become doubtful considerably, however Japan has lead 'Go' and 'Shogi' all over the world for those hundreds years. The key was in Japan's original system of the head of a school established in the Edo (Tokugawa) period.

In 'Genji Monogatari' one of Japan's proud classical literature written in the 10th century, it was depicted a scene in which ladies of the court enjoyed 'Go' or worriers in the Age of Civil Wars in 16th century, who might be killed in the next day, played 'Shogi' in a position at the risk of their lives. There are a lot of records, however it was the Tokugawa's stable Shogun era for 300 years that made today's prosperity of 'Go' and 'Shogi'.

'Hon-in-bou' of 'Go' and 'Meijin' of 'Shogi', such titles were established and the heads of a school were limited in order to protect their identities. The heads should have fought each other before a Shogun every new year's day. Not a few battlers killed themselves by 'Seppuku' after losing a game.

In succor or baseball, even arts or science, such a paradigm may be necessary. On the other hand such self-contradict as always seeking flexibility and abundance of idea follows.

'Tea Ceremony', one of Japan's proud traditional arts, has fluctuating between a paradigm and flexibility. It's the same as in 'Haiku' and 'Waka'.

In today's Japan attention is paid on economic effect of such traditional arts as the rise and fall of subscribers dependent on which newspapers runs a tournament of 'Go' or 'Shogi', or a 'Haiku' book of Ms. Machi Tawara became a best seller, however fundamentally its real value is in the fact that the outward economic value is difficult to be found, isn't it?

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