Keywords: Joseki, Shape, Tactics

Dango ([ext] source, [ext] license)

Dango is a Japanese go term, meaning "dumpling shape," that refers to a solid mass of stones without eyes and few libertiesーa very inefficient shape. The corresponding term in Chinese could be translated as "foolish shape."

Chinese: 愚形 (yú xíng)
Japanese: 団子 (dango)
Korean: 응형


This clump of four black stones is the smallest dango. Adding more black stones to it only creates a larger dango.

As can be seen from this example, a black four-stone dango may be formed by adding a black stone at the empty intersection of an empty triangle. As an empty triangle is already inefficient to begin with, this makes a dango even more inefficient and makes the problem worse.

Dango example  

Here is another example from the squeeze tesuji. The white+square chain is a six-stone dango.



Quacki: Just yesterday, I read my Ranma 1/2 Manga Book (German, Band (volume) 30, I think), which give a translation for dango. It said dango means "balls of fishmeat on a spit" ("Fischbällchen am Spiess"). Does this have anything to do with our dango?

kokiri: Dango are usually desserts, pounded rice balls filled with azuki beans or the like. I've never heard of fish dango, and frankly I'd be a bit suspicious of the translation, but yes the original dango is a foodstuff.

Lacrymology: Filled in the japanese kanji. Dango is any ball (food). Niku dango are meatballs, goma dango are mochi (rice cake) balls covered in sesame seeds (goma). I dont know what is the fish dango that they talk about in Ranma, but dango are almost always on a stick, if eaten by themselves (as in oposition to say in some kind of sauce, or whatever), or maybe on a plate with some miso leaves or something wrapping them. In the go, being black and white stones I can see where at some point a big ugly dango like the one up there appeared and someone thought of a dango which by itself USUALLY refers to mochi dango (ricecake-ball) filled with azuki.. black filling, white surrounding it.. nice image for the dango.

marnen?: I think you mean [ext] shiso leaves, not "[ext] miso leaves" (which don't exist...). :)

John F. I don't think the Japanese refers to "a" dango, but to many: stones being squeezed up together like a lot of dangos. The imagery is rather like a handful of marbles. A load of useless balls, in other words :)

Additional Info

  • A similar dumpling is manti, a food common in many Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines.
  • Name of a command-line wrapper client for GnuGo, source code and more here: [ext] dango

Dango last edited by DangoDev on January 26, 2022 - 18:48
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