Life In 19x19

de Havilland
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Author:  John Fairbairn [ Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:09 am ]
Post subject:  de Havilland

Dame Olivia de Havilland has just died, aged 104. R.I.P. As daughter of an obsessed go player, she was well aware of go.

Here is the GoGoD Encyclopaedia entry on here father.

Walter Augustus de Havilland was the father of two famous film stars: Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine. Both were born in Tokyo. He was born on 1872-08-31 in Lewisham, Kent, not far from where one member of the GoGoD teams lives, and attended school at Harrow (home of the other half of the GoGoD team). After studying theology and classical languages at Cambridge, he ended up as a patent attorney. He went to Japan to study patent law. Making a living initially by teaching English at a university in Hokkaido, he eventually became a professor of law at Waseda University in Tokyo.

While there he learnt go and wrote a slim primer in English: The ABC of Go: The National War-Game of Japan published by Kelly & Walsh of Yokohama and London in 1910.

He was taught go by Yoshida Toshio, who was ranked as of 1-dan status, and a 9-stone game with him was published in Vol. 1 No. 11 of the magazine Gokai Shinpo. It is game 1908-09-27a in the GoGoD database. In the magazine the game merited a brief commentary by Iwasa Kei 5-dan.

Go remained important to him, and he is shown playing the game in a photograph in the autobiography of Joan Fontaine (No Bed of Roses, William Morrow, 1978). It appears that obsession with go was detrimental to family life. He died in 1968.

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