Japanese Game of "Go", by Mihori
Fukumensi. Board of Tourist Industry, Japanese Government
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
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
Here are the photos. The numbers listed after their
descriptions are their sizes, in kilobytes.
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.
- The cover picture. (18k)
- A portrait of Haninbo Sansa, the
first Honinbo. (62k)
- A portrait of Honinbo Shusai.
- A photograph of Honinbo Shusai.
- Honinbo Shusai's last match, against
Kitani Minoru. (120k)
- Honinbo Shusai's 60th birthday
- Honinbo Shusai playing Suzuki Keizo.
According to John Fairbairn, Suzuki Keizo was one of the
"Three Crows" along with Fujisawa Hideyuki and Yamabe
Toshiro, but he died in 1945 at the age of 18, as a
- Fumiko Kita giving a lesson.
- People playing go in a go club in
- Some women being given lessons.
- The underside of a go board, just in
case you were curious what that hole on the bottom is
supposed to look like. (68k)
- The Nihon Kiin building. (This
building burned down in World War II.) (77k)
- The next eight pictures come from a game between Segoe
Kensaku (white) and Go Seigen (black). Here's the first picture (91k), the second picture (95k), the third picture (80k), the fourth picture (84k), the fifth picture (84k), the sixth picture (79k), the seventh picture (112k), and the last picture (87k).
- I think that these are the most interesting pictures in the
book, but there are certainly other interesting pictures in
it, and I've scanned in all of them. To see the rest, click
here. That directory contains all of
the pictures above, often in larger formats, as well as more
Last modified: Sun Aug 10 20:56:52 PDT 2003