Don't peep at bamboo joints

  Difficulty: Intermediate   Keywords: Shape, Proverb

This saying is likely a mistaken rendering of a proverb that says not to peep on both sides of a bamboo joint. " タケフの両ノゾキするべからず " 両ノゾキ means double peep (See diagram).

Double peep at a bamboo Joint  

The original text of this page follows.

Bamboo Joint  

The black structure is a bamboo joint. W1 peeps at it. A peep threatens to cut something, but a bamboo joint cannot be cut with the next move. Thus, peeping at a bamboo joint is a wasted move but remember: The bamboo joint may be short of liberties.

Like a wall  

Here, W1 throws itself against a wall. This is worse, because it loses a liberty immediately, but the idea is more or less the same: a bamboo joint is almost as strongly connected.

On a higher level

The proverb in fact warns against moves that are not peeps at bamboos as such, but will inevitably become if you read a little further. In particular peeping at both sides of the bamboo must be avoided. Here is a nice illustration of this proverb:

Avoid the taboo  

White W4 here is called a trick play in a Korean book. That seems unfair. But the point is that Black might play at a in answer. Then after W6 to B9, Black would be peeping at both sides of a bamboo joint, which is taboo. One peep may be acceptable, but with stones at B9 and a it can't be that both are efficient.


Actually the correct joseki here avoids (postpones) the other peep, too. Black should play this way, so that the kikashi B7 is available. This does something to cover Black's weak point at b.

Don't peep at bamboo joints last edited by PJTraill on June 14, 2018 - 15:41
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