The Game of Go: The National Game of Japan

Front Cover
Tuttle Publishing, 1956 - Games & Activities - 220 pages
3 Reviews
The game of Go is probably the oldest intellectual game in the world. First developed in China over three thousand years ago, the game was introduced to Japan in the eighth century and has since enjoyed ever increasing popularity. Today it commands a vast and enthusiastic following, with a large number of Japanese masters whose skill probably surpasses that ever attained in China, where there is no longer much knowledge or interest in the game. In the last few decades there has been a growing interest in the game outside Japan as an increasing number of Westerners have discovered the fascination of Go.

The game of Go belongs to the class of games which chess, though quite dissimilar, is an example. It is a game of pure skill with little room for the element of chance to enter. Arthur Smith was one of the first Westerners to make a scientific study of the game Go, and his classic work has never been surpassed for completeness, lucidity, and all-around excellence. The present volume is photographically reproduced from the now rare original edition of 1908. A glossary of Japanese terms used in the game has been inserted at the end of the volume for added convenience.

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"The Japanese assure that no Chinese players equal to that of Japanese of the first degree?" Well since the WeiQi tournament between the two countries began in the 80's, the Chinese 9th degree players have won the majority of the tournaments against the 9th degree players from Japan. It's true for a period after the Communist's rule, the Japanese surpassed the Chinese at the game. That's because the communists targeted the Chinese traditions for attacks until Mao's death in 1976.
The writer claims that how the Chinese and Korean degree systems work is unknown. This shows the simple necessary work was not done to find out how ranks are obtained through the systems.
The story that a Japanese imitated the Chinese players moves and defeated them is ludacris and amateur. An beginning player can easily detect his opponent is mirroring and prevent it within the very first few steps.
Lastly, the game of WeiQi (Go) is a reflection of the Chinese view of the cosmos and of man's relationship/harmony/balance with it. It's not difficult to see why the Chinese will always be advantageous at this game. It's like the case that the Americans invented cars, VCRs... the Japanese improved upon them. But the creator with the creative mind is greater than the imitators.


User Review  - grjade -

I bought this book for my son who is interested in learning the strategies involved in playing this game. He was delighted with this book. Read full review

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About the author (1956)

Arthur Smith, the author, was one of the first Westerners to make a scientific study of the game of Go, and his classic work has never been surpassed for completeness, lucidity, and all-round excellence.

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