Igo Daijiten / Background

Sub-page of IgoDaijiten

Dave: I have the 1980 paperback edition in six volumes. Below I have put scans of the cover, copyright page, and introduction that includes the history of the Igo Daijiten. Enjoy! :-)

The Cover

The Copyright Page

The Introduction page 1

The introduction page 2

The Editor and Advisory Board

John F. Thanks for this, Dave. It clears up most of the confusion. I infer there were two editions of Igo Daijiten by the same author, Suzuki. The later one may or may not have been translated into Chinese and/or Korea, but in any event it seems clear that the Yamabe dictionary and the small joseki dictionary by Kitani are to be treated as separate items.

A couple of things would be useful, please, Dave: (1) How many diagrams does the 1980 edition have and (2) how different is the text (both in content and grammar) - could you post a page or so from Volume 1?

Dave: See Igo Daijiten / More Background for this.

In the meantime, for other readers, here is my (JF's) quick translation of the above preface:

QUOTE Igo Daijiten systematically classifies the various patterns that appear in actual play, and indexes them by means of diagrams, and so, in the same way that people who write articles require a dictionary of Japanese, this dictionary is indispensable for those who share an interest in go.

This book was not created overnight. The late Suzuki Tamejiro conceived this project 50 years ago, and, whenever the occasion arose, collected patterns diligently. After further research on these patterns he published the book for the first time in 1933.

However, because of the war later, it was all reduced to complete destruction and so, some ten years after the war, having obtained the support of Ogawa Kikumatsu, then Chairman of Seibundo Shinkosha, Suzuki decided to proceed with publication, after more than 32 years, of a revised edition to which he had added fresh text.

On 3 November 1960, when he had completed all three volumes of this new edition, Master Suzuki received the Medal with Purple Ribbon because of his meritorious service in which he had devoted himself to the development of the go world over many years. But on the 19th of the same month, he unexpectedly collapsed while chatting with the group of our editorial team attending the celeberation of his award. He died suddenly the following day, the 20th.

In the autumn of last year, on the 17th anniversary of his death, those involved got together and decided to make further revisions and additions and to issue a new edition in order to preserve forever this book which was the largest go work in the Showa era.

Our profound thanks go to the Chairman of Seibundo Shinkosha, Ogawa Shigeo, who kindly undertook such a large publication.

If this Igo Daijiten is able to contribute, in whatever small measure it may be, to the spread of go and to an improvement in the reader's go strength, there will be no greater pleasure than this for us.

The editor Nakajima Koji?, July 1979 UNQUOTE

John F. This is in response to Dave Sigaty's kind posting of "More Background" and is here just to try to keep things together. It turns out that the preface above, by Nakajima, is in large part a word-for-word copy of Suzuki's own 1933 preface. Suzuki adds some interesting information, e.g. how he almost gave up several times as the project was so big, but I might point out also that he says he uses examples from Chinese masters, ranging from the ancient Sheng Dayou to the modern Pan Langdong, and he also claims to use material from Felix Dueball's games, though I've never spotted it.

Going back to look at this book as a result of this discussion, the more I am struck by just how good it is. It's not the size, although that must be a factor. Its the clarity and simplicity of the explanations, and that in large part is due to the neatness of the (rather few) evaluative terms defined in the appendix and consistently applied. Personally I like the literary allusions which abound in the 1930s version, and I also rather like the way he refers (as Brits who can recall Gentlemen versus Players cricket games will appreciate) to amateurs as gentlemen. Today's amateurs (me included) are a rather different species :). Perhaps only "gentlemen" would have been able to afford the book then. Volume 1 cost all of 3 yen 80 sen (provided you bought within about six weeks of publication).Yet an ordinary hardback go book would cost about 1 yen, so it seems reasonably priced. For comparison, a 6-sun kaya board at that time would cost 1,000 yen and a good pair of bowls about 17 yen.

Igo Daijiten / Background last edited by on July 17, 2008 - 20:10
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