Yasui II Sanchi

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    Keywords: Culture & History, People

Yasui II Sanchi (安井 算知) (1617-1703) was second head of the Yasui house. He was the third Meijin Godokoro from 1668-1676, though the story is one of intrigue and notably murky.


After Inoue Doseki's death in 1630, the office of Godokoro remained vacant, but two players became kindled with the ambition to fill it : Sanetsu, the second Honinbo, and Yasui Sanchi, the second head of the Yasui. The government decided to resolve the issue by directing the two to play a match.

So between 1645-1653, a six-game match was held between them to determine which player deserved the post of Meijin Godokoro. The sogo ended in a 3-3 draw (Black winnning every game), so neither player was able to establish his claim to the post.[1]

Honinbo Sanetsu died in 1658, but there is a sequel to this story. In 1668 Yasui Sanchi gained appointment as Meijin Godokoro. It was widely believed that his appointment was contrived by powerful patrons of Sanchi who brought political pressure to bear behind the scenes. The appointment was vigorously protested by Sanetsu's succesor,Doetsu. The jisha-bugyo ordered that a sixty-game series be played, at the rate of twenty games a year. Doetsu had hoped to play on even, but as he was then only 7-dan and Sanchi was Meijin or 9-dan, he was ordered to play on josen. Actually, this put quite a burden on Sanchi, who also suffered from a disadvantage in age, being already past his peak as a player.

By 1675 twenty games had been played, the first game was a prearranged jigo. After sixteen games the score was 9 wins to Doetsu, three wins to Sanchi and four jigos. Since this gave Doetsu a clear lead of six games, the handicap was changed to sen-ai-sen. After that only four games were played, of which Doetsu won three (only losing his game on white). The series was suspended, for Doetsu had proven his point. In 1676 Sanchi resigned from the office of Godokoro. For his part, Doetsu did not aspire to the office but instead recommended his heir Dosaku when he retired as Honinbo in 1677.

At the time this victory was seen as a triumph for Doetsu, but the historical verdict has also been generous to Sanchi. The consensus of later generations was that keeping a player of Doetsu's calibre on the handicap of josen for sixteen games was a considerable feat, worthy of a Meijin.[2]


[1] Go World Iss. 9 [2] Go World Iss. 10

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Yasui II Sanchi last edited by EdIV on May 26, 2016 - 12:16
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