Jo Bunen, Bun'en
b. 2005-01-15 (?)
Female Nihon Ki-in professional
from Tokyo (東京都, Metropolitan Tokyo Prefecture)
After her experiences in the Children's Meijin (finalist in 2016) and as an insei, Jo qualified as a professional in 2021. She had to take the qualification exam three times before passing. As of 2022-01-03, she's played fifteen games, seven of them wins.
According to John Fairbairn,
... she learnt to relax before big games by eating 60 strawberries, (which) even have their special day in Japan - 15th January. 1-5 is ichi-go, and the Japanese for strawberry is ichigo. And by a fluke Jo's birthday is 15th January. She did not say there is a connection - that's my guess. After all, strawberries and strawberry picking (ichigogari) are widely popular with Japanese women.
In 2021, she won the 3rd Y's Academy Cup. Fairbairn had this to say on the event:
The Y's Academy Cup is a strange event, held in the Diamond Go Salon, not too far from the Ki-in. It's a Swiss for 10 players, 5 pro and 5 amateur. But the pros have to give the amateurs 2 stones. Jo scored 5-0, beating fellow 1-dans Takeshita Ryoya?, Tanaka Yuki, Suzukawa Natsumi and Mito Shuhei.
She has not yet managed to qualify for the Women's Honinbo. In December 2021, she was knocked out in the semifinal of her qualification group by Nakamura Sumire. This game, which took almost eight hours, was streamed on the Nihon Ki-in Youtube channel.
Her ki-in profile says "令和3年4月より対局", which seems to mean "playing from April 2021". This would conflict with either the statement by Fairbairn that she was 16 when she won the Y's Academy Cup, or else with the birth date of 2005-01-15 given here. Fairbairn wrote in August and said that the event had just happened. Her first game on Go4Go is from July. The month of her qualification doesn't seem to be given anywhere.
The Perfect Weiqi Database also has 2005-01-15 as her date of birth. This is the source cited by Wikidata.
The most probable occurrence is that Fairbairn just accidentally wrote 16 when he should've put 17.
She answered questions at a Nihon Ki-in event, in a video published in March 2021 on the 囲碁将棋TV -朝日新聞社- Youtube channel.
Her mother also appeared in all those videos.