Basic Japanese for reading go books
To read and enjoy Japanese go books, you only need to learn a very small number of kanji. Of course, that number won't let you understand every word of a discussion book. But many books of tsumego and tesuji problems use a convenient format of headers and titles that use a limited set of kanji.
Probably, the very first word that you should know because it is written in all Go books is Go itself (pronounced "igo" in Romaji):
Then, you want to know whether the problem is Black to play or White to play. So the first kanji to learn are these two colours.
There are two common patterns for indicating who is to play.
That's enough to get started%%%
Sometimes the desired result is given in the problem. Or the result may be mentioned in the answer. Typical results are living, killing, making a ko, and winning a capturing race. There are also two different kanji used for life. Also ko is usually written in katakana, but the kanji can be found in older books.
So here are some typical combinations
Next, it helps to know which answer diagram is correct. They are usually labeled:
So here are the most important terms.
Once you have mastered the basic Japanese here, you are ready to move on to Intermediate Japanese for Reading Go Books.
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