Japanese Game of "Go", by Mihori Fukumensi. Board of Tourist Industry, Japanese Government Railways; 1939.

This is a short introduction to go. It gives an introduction to the game, talking about its features and strong points; a history of the game (up to 1939; a lot has changed since then!); and then tells you how to actually play it.

As an introduction to the game, it's okay; and it is quite nice seeing an older historical introduction. But what makes this book so wonderful is the pictures. There are many lovely brown-and-white photographs throughout the book; many of them show people that are now famous historical figures. (There are several of Honinbo Shusai, in particular.) They show the game in action, giving you an insight on the game that you won't get from reading a normal introductory book. In particular, the book ends with eight photos showing various stages of a game between Segoe Kensaku and Go Seigen. I've scanned in the photos; to see them, click on the links at the bottom of this page.

This book is, of course, long out of print and unavailable; I only managed to get a copy through the extreme generosity of Edward Wallner. It is available in some university libraries, though. (Look under `Mihori'.)

John Fairbairn says:

The author Mihori Fukumenshi is the famous Mihori Tadashi (also politely read Mihori Sho) who died only last November. [Ed. Nov. 1996.] He is perhaps the most famous go writer ever.

Fukumenshi (Incognito) was the pen name used by the go journalists of the Yomiuri Shinbun, and as the third Fukumenshi Mihori covered the famous Kamakura 10-game match between Go Seigen and Kitani Minoru. His descriptions of the first game of that match (where Kitani collapsed with a nosebleed and Go played on) are classics that rank among the most reprinted go pieces of all time. He also used the pen name Okame Sanjin.

Here are the photos. The numbers listed after their descriptions are their sizes, in kilobytes.

david carlton <carlton@bactrian.org>

Last modified: Sun Aug 10 20:56:52 PDT 2003