Ishigure Ikuro

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Ishigure Ikuro's Nihon Ki-in photograph

(石榑 郁郎) Nihon Ki-in pro, 9 dan in 1984. Author of In the Beginning. Noted for his tsumego compositions. His deceased wife Ishigure Makiko was also a professional (2 dan).

Ishiguro was born on 7 December 1942 in Gifu City, Gifu Prefecture. In 1955, he became a disciple of Kitani Minoru. He became a professional in 1960 and was promoted to 2 dan later that year. His promotion record is: 3 dan in 1962, 4 dan in 1963, 5 dan in 1964, 6 dan in 1966, 7 dan in 1970, 8 dan in 1974, and 9 dan in 1984. In 2006, aged 63, achieved 600 official wins.


[ext] Ishigure Ikuro, Nihon Kiin profile

Cho Chikun's memories of Ishigure Ikuro and Makiko

It was around the time I became a professional. Ikuro showed up at the Kitani Dojo. I don't remember him ever coming there before. My first impression was, "Who on earth is this guy?" After that, Ikuro-san started to show up every day. Whether it was raining, snowing, spears falling, or a big typhoon hitting land, he would come every day. I felt a little scared. It went on for two or three years.

Gradually, I got to know his face, and we started to talk a little. When you see the same face every day, your wariness fades. But then, one day, suddenly, Ikuro-san stopped coming to the dojo. A person who had been coming every day for several years until yesterday no longer showed up. This was also a kind of horror. Maybe you could say it made you shudder. What on earth was he trying to do? It was strange. Ikuro-san became a mysterious person to me.

It was some time after Ikuro-san had stopped coming that the mystery was solved. I was told a shocking truth. To my surprise, he had won Maki-san's heart. Ikuro-san had not come to the dojo to study Go. That man was eyeing Makiko, who was as pure and beautiful as Momoe Yamaguchi [ext] [legendary singer and actress], with a keen eye for him. Why didn't I notice? I learned the scary side of adults. Even more surprising, I don't think Ikuro has come to the dojo even once since then.

Well, it's frustrating, but Ikuro's eyes for people, things, and the board are all first-rate. Have you ever solved Ikuro's Go puzzles? They're the best in the world. I even think there is no other Go puzzle writer better than Ikuro.

From a professional's perspective, they're not that difficult. This is the one I cherish the most, and it really feels like it could come out in a real game. And the problem itself is tough, and when you solve it, you're filled with a sense of accomplishment. No one can match Ikuro. There are many Go players who create Go puzzles, but they're just too difficult. I hope Ikuro leaves behind many books on tsumego. If there are any publishers reading this, please do so. I recommend it!

Ikuro's hobby is golf. He is so absorbed in golf that he cannot live without it, and his skill level is quite high. And golf is filled with all of Ikuro's favorite things. First of all, his car. Ikuro always took care of driving to and from the golf course. He loves driving. He can't drink alcohol, so it's just right. And another thing, Ikuro loves to talk. He talks all the time while driving (laughs). It's hard to keep up with him, but I can tolerate this much because he picks me up and drops me off. No, no, I'm almost happy.

Then, one day, Ikuro suddenly stopped playing golf again. This was also a mystery for a long time, but a few years ago I heard this rumor. It seems that Makiko had become ill and he wanted to focus on caring for her...

Makiko passed away in 1999. Although it may have passed quickly, I believe she was surrounded by Ikuro's love and sincerity and had a fulfilling and meaningful life. The word "sincerity" is perfect for Ikuro. He is a Go player whom I respect from the bottom of my heart.

Source: [ext] Even the 25th Honinbo Jikun was shocked! The reason why Ikuro Ishigure 9-dan visited the Kitani Dojo every day, NHK Go lecture by Cho Chikun, August 2015 (in Japanese).

Ishigure Ikuro last edited by Jono64a on June 3, 2024 - 09:08
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