Sub-page of HoninboGenjo

(By an IP user on 7 July 2024): And in what sense was the deleted portion (Privy Council) a mistranslation? The term 枢機 is widely known from the Book of Changes and has long been used in China (and copied in Japan) to refer to the pivotal powers in any enterprise but especially in state affairs. By extension, it came to mean those of high status close to the Emperor (or Shogun), and in Song times it was actually formalised into a Privy Council. In the case of this book, Genjo points out that these were records handed down within the Honinbo family from the time of Sansa. He is implying that the Honinbos were in the position, within the go world, of privy councillors. Nowhere in his text does he discuss key points of fuseki or tactics or anything else, and so it is 'key points' which is the mistranslation. He just presents lots and lots of Honinbo games to show they were the top players. Metaphors are allowed in book titles.

hnishy: Literally, 枢 is a kind of doorlock and 機 is the trigger of crossbow. So 枢機 basically means "something very important" and can be used in any field. The word has been used in political context too, but it's wrong to assume a metaphor for something in a different field when the basic meaning is sufficient. There are no references to politics in the book's foreword and afterword - it's just a go book. If you insist, please show us some concrete evidence that the metaphorical meaning was the author's intention.

JohnF] First, 枢 is not a kind of lock. It is a hinge or a pivot, and so allusions to keys are not justified in that regard. 枢機 does not have a basic meaning. It is in itself a metaphor. Second, in its locus classicus, the Book of Changes (which would have been familiar to Genjo or his ghost writer) it has a nuance that is, I think, relevant to this book: "Actions proceed from what is near, and their effects are seen at a distance. Words and actions are the hinge and spring of the superior man. The movement of that hinge and spring determines glory or disgrace. His words and actions move heaven and earth; - may he be careless in regard to them?" I believe Genjo chose this word because he thought it was relevant, not because it was a common-or-garden word that would come easily to him (unlike "key points"). There is no concrete evidence for what he had in mind, but nor is there any evidence that he had key points in mind. Rather, the content of the book suggests he wanted to glorify the (semi-)political status of the "superior men" of the Honinbo lineage - somewhat along the lines of the Book of Changes quote. There is no evidence he was teaching amateur go players some key points (is there?). It is the people in the book who matter, not the josekis and fusekis. And who decides whether an (incorrect) basic meaning is sufficient? That's just a personal world view that I don't share. Where would we be in go without metaphors? No eyes on a go board for a start. No big dragons. No comb formations. No life and death even. I am not specially pushing for the use of Privy Council (I regard it just as an allowable authorial choice and I didn't post it here - it was copied from my encyclopaedia without acknowledgement, along with a lot of other stuff). My real objection is simply to "key points". This is all I will say on the matter.

HoninboGenjo/discussion last edited by 2a00:23c8:11a2:de01 on July 8, 2024 - 10:06
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