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400 Years of Go in Japan (and similars)
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Author:  Ferran [ Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:59 am ]
Post subject:  400 Years of Go in Japan (and similars)

Years ago (possibly about 10), I bought Slate and Shell's book. In some ways, it led me to avoid the publisher for the rest of its life; some titles would tempt me, then I'd look at the edition I had... and pass.

And it's a pity: I do like the subject very much. But the history is sketchy, the trimming[*] uneven. Typesetting, image resolution... you name it. It wasn't any single issue, it was the sheer amount of them. And the games are not commented at all. What remains is a bunch of text and kifu that, these days, are free for the taking.

Anyhow, I was rereading it, and I found that insert with the 3x copyright (Power, Fairbairn, Grant... 3 years after the publication copyright in the page before). There's a story there. Is it public?

Also, is there a similar book (-s) on the history of Go? I can deal with time-restricted books (say, Godokoro until Senchi; Senchi - Shusaku; ...), but I'm not aware of any, right now, unless I count those that focus on the whole life of a single player.

Thank you. Take care

[*] English as a foreign language; I think that's the word.

Author:  tchan001 [ Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 400 Years of Go in Japan (and similars)

Perhaps try The Go Player's Almanac 2001
Although it's not totally on the history of go, it has pretty good coverage of historical Japanese go.
http://www.kiseidopublishing.com/Almanac.htm#K40

Author:  Ferran [ Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 400 Years of Go in Japan (and similars)

tchan001 wrote:
Perhaps try The Go Player's Almanac 2001
Although it's not totally on the history of go, it has pretty good coverage of historical Japanese go.


I'll look into it, thanks [*].

Aside: does anyone know if the very first game in that book is right? GoGoD's version has the colors swapped after handicap... and makes more sense, from my limited POV.

Thanks, take care.

[*] And thanks for your site. I've been following it on and off since, I think, 2012-13.

Author:  breakfast [ Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 400 Years of Go in Japan (and similars)

400 Years of Go in Japan is a very dull book. I got it and was very disappointed!

Author:  sorin [ Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 400 Years of Go in Japan (and similars)

I am surprised by the negative impression this book made on some.

I want to offer an alternative view: I absolutely loved this book! Reading about go history I found that it motivates me to play go more, and to study the old masters not necessarily in order to get stronger, but to immerse into this game's history, as a pure cultural experience.

Author:  gowan [ Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 400 Years of Go in Japan (and similars)

I, too, was disappointed by this book. As far as I can see it is a collection of excerpts from other books in English, such as Invincible and the Go Player's Almanac, etc. Since these sources are scattered, this book serves a purpose by bringing this information in one volume. There is a story regarding the copyrights. When 400 Years first came out the authors of the sources that were copied for the book protested, with the result that the various names were added to the copyright.

Author:  sorin [ Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 400 Years of Go in Japan (and similars)

gowan wrote:
I, too, was disappointed by this book. As far as I can see it is a collection of excerpts from other books in English, such as Invincible and the Go Player's Almanac, etc. Since these sources are scattered, this book serves a purpose by bringing this information in one volume. There is a story regarding the copyrights. When 400 Years first came out the authors of the sources that were copied for the book protested, with the result that the various names were added to the copyright.


Interesting, I didn't know about the copyright issue. I checked my copy, and found it:

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Author:  John Tilley [ Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 400 Years of Go in Japan (and similars)

There is no single book in English, but there is quite a bit of material. There is of course the book "Appreciating Famous Games" (G25) which covers 10 games from 1683 to 1851 with lots of historical background and detailed commentaries - translated by John F.

The first 30 issues of Go World magazine had a series called "Page from Go History". Example - Go World #11 Jan-Feb 1979 its 3 pages on "The Go Saint Dosaku". There are 2 commented games and almost two columns of history. That article refers to the book "Appreciating Famous Games" and another Dosaku game in the series "Master Go" in "Go Review - Summer 1974. In Go World #2 its one and half pages on "Suzuki's Shoulder Hit" from his 1956 game against Go Seigen.

You can look at the online index to Go World.

The article in "The Go players Almanac 2001" pages 64 to 83 covers "Go Players in the Edo Era" and says "most of the material is taken from "Page from Go History" plus the book "Invincible: The Games of Shusaku". In the Almanac pages 84 to 127 are "A Brief History of Modern Go".

I am aware of special articles in Go World on Kitani, Go Seigen and Takagawa.

"Go Monthly Review" had the series "Famous Games Ancient and Modern" from November 1967 to December 1970 - 33 articles in total with historical backgrounds; the earliest game being 1846 "Ear Reddening Game" to 1967 "Honinbo Title Game 3 - Sakata v Rin".

When "Go Monthly Review" became "Go Review" (quarterly) the series "Master Go" ran from Spring 1974 to Autumn 1976 - 11 issues - each on one game with historical backgrounds.

The book "Modern Master Go" covers the historical background to modern tournament Go in Japan. Its by Kiseido covers 11 games from the first Honinbo Tournament to the 1964 Judan title.

There may well be other historical games in "Go Monthly Review" or even "Go World".

John F's "Meijin of Meijins" book covers the historical background of Honinbo Shuei; his other books of games cover Genjo, Chitoku, The Great Senchi, Shusai, Karigane, Segoe, Suzuki, Kitani and Go Seigen all with comprehensive backgrounds. "John F's "The Go Companion" covers "Go in Wartime Japan" - in particular the background to the atom bomb game from the 3rd Honinbo Tournament. There are also chapters on Honinbo Sansa and Karigane.

In softcopy "The Honinbo Tournament - The Early Years" by John F covers 32 games from the first six tournaments.

There are of course many books in Japanese(!) - even if you only have a slight knowledge of the language these provide some 20-30 selected games of an historical player - its easier to play through a small selection than all his games. Takagi Shoichi has a 100 game selection of some 350 years in two volumes, Yoda has "Famous Games to play over to make you stronger" - in two volumes - some 60 plus games. Interestingly much of his focus was on Go Seigen and Dosaku and that was quite a while before AI.

So there is quite a bit out there. Good Luck!

Best Wishes - John Tilley

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