Last weeks in Japan, part 3: short diary entries

There have been plenty of semi-productive days during the last few weeks; this blog post will describe them, but not in too much detail.

April 20, Friday: I and Ginny, from the English class, were invited to follow the Kisei tournament prize-giving ceremony that was held in a hotel at Yotsuya, not too far from the Nihon Ki-in. There were plenty of prestigious people present, and lots of good food was had as well. Chō U won the title for the third time in a row. While receiving the prize, he made a speech (most of which I didn’t understand), and in addition advertised his new iPhone application, Yonro no go, which has go problems on a 4×4 go board in a very children-friendly setting. For now at least, the program doesn’t have an English version.

April 29, Sunday: This was the last insei day for me, which concluded the weekend in a 6-0 result and the whole month in a 19-5 result, giving me the first place in C class. The second and third places were for insei with 16 wins and eight losses. Quite interestingly, because I defeated both 岩田 and 藤原, the two highest-ranked girls (both 15 years old) on Sunday, it was the 10-year old little girl 上野 who got promoted to B class instead. At the end of the insei training day, I and two B-class insei who were also quitting gave short speeches for for the other insei. The strict insei teacher, Ōbuchi-sensei, complimented me quite a lot in front of everybody (having studied diligently and so on), which made me really happy.

April 30, Monday: We went to an area near Shinjuku with the Ichikawa go dōjō people, and participated in a local go club’s team tournament. The teams consisted of five people, and in total there were perhaps 10 teams playing. The Ichikawa go dōjō had three teams play, and the strongest team (in which I also played) got second place. I won two games and lost one, apparently against a former all-Japan high school champion. It seems the team tournament was sponsored by some noodle company, as all the prizes were more noodles or less noodles.

May 1, Tuesday: I went to the Nihon Ki-in at 16:30 to meet with Kobayashi Chizu-sensei, Ōhashi-sensei and a German amateur player who had studied the classic tsumego collection, Igo Hatsuyō-ron, and had written a book researching one of the difficult problems in great detail. After the meeting, we went on to Mita for my farewell party with the English class people, which included lots of fun and games, and food and drink. Unfortunately I somehow missed out on taking photos from there.

May 2, Wednesday: This was my second-to-last day at the Ichikawa dōjō. Before going there, I visited a used go books store, and bought two classic tsumego collections — and had a really hard time not buying a lot more. At the Ichikawa dōjō, I got one more classic tsumego collection as a present from Tanabe, an older gentleman who visits the dōjō on Wednesdays (amateur 8-dan). Serendipitously I had also prepared a present for him, a Finnish moomin-themed mug.

May 4, Friday: My accommodator and Friend, Kurt, treated me to a really delicious teppanyaki dinner at a local restaurant, which included eg. incredibly tasty beef and shrimps. The chef prepared everything right in front of our eyes, which was surprisingly interesting to follow.

May 5, Saturday: This being one of my last truly free days, I went ahead and had a walk around the imperial palace, which took almost two hours in total. It was a really warm and beautiful summer day.

On May 7, I played in a tv-broadcast match against Fujisawa Rina, 1 dan, but this warrants a blog post of its own. Stay tuned!


6 thoughts on “Last weeks in Japan, part 3: short diary entries”

  1. Oh, I can’t believe I only just now found your blog. I subscribed.
    Seems like you’re having a great adventure :-)

    Greetings from Holland.

  2. These have been fascinating blogs. Readers have got a real insight into the way a contemporary Japanese Dojo works- so a big thank you from this reader (and I am sure everyone else who has followed your posts).

    Please carry on providing us with insights about professional go, both in Japan and in Europe!

    All good wishes for your future Go career!

    1. I didn’t have a very clear-cut daily schedule. Monday morning and noon, I’d train by myself, and sometimes go to the dojo from 4 PM to 9 PM. Tuesday morning would be training by myself up to 5 PM, after which was the English class until about 9 PM. Wednesday and Friday were more or less like Monday, Thursday morning would be watching pro games on wbaduk, and weekends would be insei training from 9 AM to 4:30 PM.

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