Today marked a slightly more special insei training day. Out of the blue during the day, the insei instructors came up with the idea of switching the classroom to the sixth floor from the normal seventh. That means that today, I played two of my three games in a traditional tatami room, which the professionals normally use for their games! Of course, it wasn’t my first time in a tatami room, as I’d participated in two kenkyuukai before. Still, it was a welcome change.
This weekend’s result was a comfortable five wins to one loss, meaning that in total I have now eight wins and four losses. That only gets me the fifth place, however! The finished results list for the first two weeks looks like this. Sorry for the poor picture quality!
Playing in a tatami room of course means sitting in seiza too, though it didn’t appear to be a formal requirement of anything; many insei sat cross-legged. I did seiza for as long as I could, and only near the end of the third game did I have to change my posture. As a side effect of having sat in seiza, I noticed that walking down stairs became incredibly difficult for a short while.
Here’s two photos from the sixth floor:
If I understood right, part of the instructors’ idea in using the sixth floor was that so the insei kids would be able to concentrate better (thanks to the new surroundings), as they’d been quite restless for the whole weekend. Something went awry in this plan, as it seemed like the children were even more restless by the end of the day! Of course, everybody got a good scolding afterwards as usual.
I was picked up right after the insei training to go to a go party in Shinjuku, which included go players, food and drink, and live music. A few 9 dan professionals such as Takemiya-sensei and Kataoka-sensei were present, too. Some smalltalk was talked and food eaten; when I learned at one point that I was conversing with a belly dance professional, I got to surprise some Japanese people by remarking that the current Finnish president does some belly dancing, too. The live music was really nice, including e.g. some really skilled pianists. Ōhashi-sensei, who is a regular at the English class, can play the piano really well! Oh, and I also exchanged some words with the programmer of the go bot Zen.
Now that I’ve gotten quite used to the life here in Japan, I’m beginning to have difficulties figuring out what exactly I should share in this blog — many things that would previously have seemed outlandish (like casually chatting with Takemiya-sensei) have gotten to be more or less everyday life. If the reader would have something they’d like to hear more about, please give me tips by commenting on this post! I’m planning to include an insei game or two with commentary within the next few days, it’s been too long of a break from those.