Many board games across the world have an extensive and rich history. Thus is the case with the game of Go in Japanese culture. The game of Go is often compared to a game of chess, we disagree as it is more related to checkers. The object of the game is to control the most territory while reducing the number of enemy pieces. While this may seem simple, the game often becomes quite complicated when playing on the standard 19x19 board.
Games are an important part of history because it allows for entertainment, not only for the players, but also for the observers. In an era before television and video games, board games were a vital part of entertainment. This is important to keep in mind when observing many games because of the rich history that the games possess and their influence on culture.
The game of Go dates back to 8th century Japan. Similarly, to other popular games in the 17th century, the best players were sponsored by the Shogun. The money that the players received in turn went to their families who became an essential part of the teaching of Go throughout the ages; the four most prominent being Honinbo, Hayashi, Yasue and Inoue. These schools made history in establishing a sort of class system to separate the levels of Go players. The top tier being the Meijin, of which there could only be one at a time. With the westernization of eastern culture in the 19th and 20th century, the popularity of Go decreased as other external influences took over. However, a large increase of players and fans originated quite recently with the release of the popular anime, Hikaru no Go.
The rules of Go are quite simple. The black and white pieces go to each player respectively. The game is played on a 19x19 board with 361 pieces, 181 black pieces and 180 white pieces. Each player sets a piece down at an intersection and aims to control the majority of the board. A single piece can only be taken off the board if it is surrounded by the enemy’s pieces on all sides. Advancement is the name of the game of Go and it can become quite competitive very quickly. Each piece can only be placed once and stays on the board until it is captured or the respective player wins. This makes the game long and intense. For beginners, there are 9x9 boards for sale that allow for a shorter and simpler game to be played.
While the game of Go may be complicated, it is a way to make new experiences and develop new skills. We hope that you have enjoyed this introductory look into Go or at least broadened your mind if you already knew what it was. As always, if you have any comments or suggestions we hope that you will leave them below for us as we look forward to hearing all of our readers’ opinions.