Ishida's Joseki Dictionary

Table of contents


Dictionary of Basic Joseki, published by Ishi Press, is John Power's English translation of Ishida Yoshio's Kihon Joseki Jiten (基本定石事典) first published by the Nihon Ki-in in 1975. It remains an important joseki reference in a European language although it is now (obviously) missing the developments of the last quarter century. Updated and revised as The 21st Century Dictionary of Basic Joseki.

Ishida's name is romanized in the English version of the book in the Western order (given name before family name), as "Yoshio Ishida".


From the Foreword to Volume 1

Joseki are model sequences in the corners and, sometimes, on the sides. Sequences consisting of rational moves and giving an equal or near equal result are recognized as joseki and thus become the possession of all Go players.
Joseki are born, not made. A sequence only becomes joseki when it is played in actual games, is subjected to opposition and is able to stand up to all criticism. A sequence which contains irrational or unnatural elements or which gives an inferior result for one side will hardly meet with universal approval.
The present work aims at collecting and organizing the representative joseki in popular use today and at subjecting them to fairly detailed analysis. The basic patterns have been arranged in systematic order and given sufficient commentary to be, we believe, of practical use to amateur players. An index has naturally been included so that the work can be used as a dictionary, but we have also taken pains to present the work as a basic course in joseki for anyone reading the book through...
The patterns have been evaluated as equal, favourable, slightly favourable etc., but the reader should not worry too much about these labels. He should judge for himself and if he feels that a pattern we call unfavourable is favourable, he should go ahead and play it. If he then agrees with us, he can discard it. This freedom is the privilege of amateur players. Further, patterns in this book which to the professional eye give a result with only a very slight difference have been included in the equal category...

(emphasis added)


It is published in three volumes:

See [ext] David Carlton's review

Spelled 石田芳夫 基本定石事典 at

Imagist: If you're looking for the updated 2 volume version, the cheapest way to get it is in Chinese from Yutopian: as of 9/15/2007 it is $48.00 (WITH shipping).

Ishida's Joseki Dictionary last edited by on August 17, 2013 - 15:52
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