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
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
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?