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 Post subject: Another Kuroki website?
Post #1 Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2024 11:34 am 
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Long time, no see. Sorry, things have been happening.

I was looking for some info and I found a web site I hadn't heard of before, https://en.goboard-stone.co.jp/ It looks like it's related to Kuroki Goishi ten, to the point of both claiming the same 3rd generation artisan but not quite the same. Does anyone know about them?

Thanks. Take care.

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 Post subject: Re: Another Kuroki website?
Post #2 Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2024 1:44 pm 
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Ok... apparently the 3rd generations CEO left Kuroki and set up his own enterprise. It strikes me as quite odd, but... <shrug>

Take csre

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 Post subject: Re: Another Kuroki website?
Post #3 Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2024 2:28 pm 
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I think clam shell stones are mostly manufactured in Hyuga and maybe the surrounding province. It is a traditional industry that is connected to this location and it is a city of less than 60 thousand people so it makes sense that everyone knows everyone else. Especially if they have been making clam shell stones and other Go equipment for decades. There should be a number of small shops like that in Hyuga.

Clam shell stones also have a connection to Mexico. They probably brought Mexican clam to Hyuga to make Mexican clam stones, not Hyuga clam to Mexico to make Hyuga clam stones :)

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 Post subject: Re: Another Kuroki website?
Post #4 Posted: Sat Mar 09, 2024 10:28 am 
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I have enjoyed owning and using slate and shell stones mulberry bowls, and a kaya board, bought many years ago in Japan. Now these materials of go equipment are threatened in Japan, due to overuse, of course. Apparently the Mexican shell stones are also becoming difficult to obtain, and all of this is reflected in high prices. When I bought my luxury go equipment the rate of exchange was also very favorable; 1 USD got me almost 300 JPY, close to three times the current rate of exchange. Now I wouldn't buy those things. After all, we can enjoy the game to the full using go equipment made from sustainable materials, and perhaps the most used equipment for playing go is now computers or phones. I wonder whether opening a store for luxury go equipment might be a risky proposition.

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 Post subject: Re: Another Kuroki website?
Post #5 Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2024 10:00 am 
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kvasir wrote:
I think clam shell stones are mostly manufactured in Hyuga and maybe the surrounding province...Clam shell stones also have a connection to Mexico. They probably brought Mexican clam to Hyuga to make Mexican clam stones, not Hyuga clam to Mexico to make Hyuga clam stones :)


The giant Hyuga suwabute clam was hunted to near extinction decades ago. Go stones were not the only use for these thick shells so we can't simply blame our favorite game's rish enhusiasts. Reputable antique dealers that sell genuine suwabute go stones can be found on the ebay but guaranteeing the species requires expertise and trust. Every now and then, or so I've heard (I have no reliable primary source except an old marketing announcement from Kuroki that I cannot locate), excavations around the Hyuga region uncover a trove of ancient shells and production heats up briefly at the Kuroki shops.

Clams that are large enough and thick eough to provide one or two stones are getting more rare and more difficult and expensive to obtain. If you watch any of the manufacturing video clips, you'll notice that, once core-drilled, 90% of the shell is discarded, presumably as waste. Seems to me an enterprising startup could figure out a way to grind up all that calcium, add a binder, compress the compound in molds, and offer go players a desirable substitute, much like Songyun and Yunzi are made from a recipe of ground minerals, but without the molten state.

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