bugcat / Ages Of Go

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This is a comfortably vague and malleable Go history division paradigm which I've been using for one or two years (as of late 2021) as a conversational shorthand in various places.

There are four core periods: Archaic, Classical, Modern and Hypermodern.

In some versions the Classical period is split into an Early and Late, and even a Middle stage as well; and sometimes an intermediate period is placed between the Classical and Modern, and the Modern period can also be split.

The Archaic period begins with the invention or evolution of Go. According to Chinese legend this occurred some time in the 23rd or 24th c. BCE. The earliest historical reference is of an event of the 6th c. BCE, and the earliest known boards are from the 3rd c. BCE.

Archaic Go is characterised by a paucity of organisation, literature and surviving game records. The Archaic Period ends in the 16th or 17th century.

The Early Classical period begins with any of:

  • Toyotomi Hideyoshi's foundational 1588 tournament which saw the establishment of Sansa as Meijin
  • the start of the Edo period in 1603
  • Sansa's instalment as Honinbo head in 1612
  • the start of the Castle Games in 1626
  • the life and publications of Guo Bailing (c. 1587 -- c. 1662)
  • the beginning of Dosaku's career around 1660
  • the beginning of Huang Longshi's career a few years later, especially after his becoming guoshou around 1667
  • Dosaku's instalment as Honinbo head in 1677 or as Meijin in 1678

It includes Fan Xiping (1709-69) and Shi Ding'an (1710-71). It also includes all Honinbos from Dosaku (as mentioned) to at least Satsugen (1754-88).

It lasts about 100 to 240 years.

The Middle or Late Classical Period begins with any of:

  • Yasui Senchi's influential games, especially after becoming house head in 1780 and Jun-Meijin in 1801
  • Genjo's instalment as Honinbo head in 1808 or, earlier, the beginning of his rivalry with Yasui Chitoku
  • The start of Jowa's career in 1807, his instalment as Honinbo head in 1827 or as Meijin in 1831

The Middle Classical Period is characterised by increasingly influential play and a return to a higher standard of top level Go in Japan, along with the disappearance of famed Chinese Go players.

It includes at least some of the career of Shuwa, who was Honinbo head from 1847 to 1873, and thus also that of Shusaku, which lasted from 1839 to 1862.

The Middle Classical period lasts about 30 to 110 years.

In implementations with a separate Middle and Late Classical Period, the Late Classical Period begins with any of:

  • the disruption of the Castle Games in the early 1860s and their eventual demise in 1862 or 1863
  • the death of Shusaku in 1862
  • the start of the Meiji Era in 1868
  • the death of Shuwa in 1873
  • the founding of the Hoensha in 1879
  • Oscar Korschelt's studies in Japan around 1880
  • the publication of Hoen Shinpo in 1882
  • Shuei's instalment as Honinbo in 1884
  • Shuho's instalment as Honinbo, death, or reconciliation jubango with Shuei, all in 1886
  • Shuei becoming Meijin again in 1887

This period is characterised by emerging modernity in communication media and professional structure.

It lasts for about 20 to 70 years.

The Classical Period ends with any of:

  • Shuei's death in 1907
  • Shusai's instalment as Honinbo in 1908
  • the end of the Meiji Era in 1912
  • Kubomatsu Katsukiyo's playing and scouting activities in the early 1920s
  • the dissolution of the Hoensha and formation of the Nihon Ki-in in 1924
  • the beginning of the Showa Era in 1926
  • the establishment of the Oteai in 1927
  • Go Seigen's immigration to Japan in 1928
  • the Game of the Century in 1933

The Classical Period is succeeded by the Modern or Early Modern Period.

In versions with an Early Modern Period, this period is characterised by common matches, often jubango, and by a widespread absence of komi. It also contains all or part the shin fuseki era.

It lasts for about 30 to 70 years, containing the early careers of well known players like Kitani Minoru, {Maeda Nobuaki] and Fujisawa Hosai.

In such setups, the true Modern period begins with any of:

  • 1960
  • the passing of the Honinbo title from Takagawa Kaku's nine year run to Sakata Eio's seven year one in 1961
  • the beginning of Go Seigen's decline in the same year
  • the foundation of the Meijin and Judan titles in 1962
  • the end of the jubango period in the same year
  • the foundation of the Tengen (1975), Gosei (1976), or Kisei (1977) titles

It's characterised by the gradual rise of komi and the evolution of tournaments, including international ones, as well as the growth of Go outside the Orient.

It lasts for about 40 to 60 years.

A Late Modern Period can also be specified, beginning in the 1980s, '90s or even 2000s, marked by the rise of Korea, Hikaru no Go and the rise of online Go.

The Modern Period suddenly becomes the Hypermodern with the emergence of AlphaGo. The exact date can be placed at any of:

The Hypermodern Period is characterised by the widespread availability and pervasiveness of AI in research and training, as well as concern over its negative effects.

bugcat / Ages Of Go last edited by bugcat on October 2, 2021 - 13:47
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