Kawabata's Master of Go

The Master of Go
http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0679761063.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg [Cover art: Detail from ''Boating in the Shade of the Willow Tree'', artist unknown, The Museum of Fine Arts, Spfld., MA., Raymond Bidwell Collection]
By: Kawabata Yasunari
Publisher: Vintage International?, 1996
ISBN10 0-679-76106-3

Kawabata, a Nobel prizewinner for Literature, published this novel in 1951. It describes the last game, in 1938, of a Go master (actually Shusai Meijin) and the younger challenger. In real life, the challenger was Kitani Minoru, but Kawabata named him Otake". This had nothing to do with the real top professional Otake Hideo, who at the time the book was written had only just joined the Kitano Dojo? aged 9.

It was first published as Meijin (名人) in the Shincho magazine in 1951. It was printed in book form in 1954.

The version translated into English by Edward G. Seidensticker is a shorter form preferred by Kawabata, since it was the one included in the most recent edition of his complete works (Vol. 11 as of 1980). Some material was cut from between the end of the match and the master's death. Kawabata's name is ordered in the Western order (Yasunari Kawabata) in the English-language version of the book. Seidensticker's translation is published by Wideview/Perigee Books, of G.P. Putnam's Sons, ISBN 0-399-50528-8 and Vintage International, ISBN 0-679-76106-3.

The diagrams have been inverted from the Japanese edition, and some stones lose their move numbers in some diagrams. The group of four captured White stones become four unnumbered Black stones in later diagrams. The translation itself has won good reviews.

Other editions exist, as well as translations to other languages, listed here in the order of appearance (language: title, translator, publisher, year, ISBN if available):

  1. Korean: Myeong In (part of Cheondang Gangseon jeonjib 3), Ming Byeong Son (閔丙山), Shingu Munhwa Sa, Seoul, 1969 (also published by Daseo Chulpan Sol, Seoul, 1992, ISBN 89-85062-17-4)
  2. English: The Master of Go, Edward G. Seidensticker, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1972, ISBN 0-394-47541-0
  3. French: Le Maître ou Le tournoi de Go, Sylvie Regnault-Gatier, Albin Michel, Paris, 1975, ISBN 2-253-04673-6
  4. Serbo-Croatian: Velemajstor (part of Velemajstor, Snežna zemlja), Ljiljana Đurović, Slovo Ljubve, Beograd, 1981 (also published by Logos, Beograd, 2007, ISBN 978-86-85063-36-7)
  5. Chinese: Mingren, Liu Hua Ting (劉華亭), Xingguang Chubenshe, Taipei, 1985
  6. Dutch: De meester van het go-spel, Annemarie van Frankenhuysen (translated from the English translation), Uitgeverij BZZTôH, 's-Gravenhage, 1987, ISBN 90-6291-304-0
  7. Czech: Meidžin (part of Tanečnice z Izu a jine prózy), Vlasta Winkelhöferová, Odeon, Praha, 1988
  8. Turkish: Go ustasi, Belkıs Çorakçı (Dişbudak) (translated from the English translation), Remzi Kitabevi, İstanbul, 1992, ISBN 975-14-0335-9
  9. Italian: Il Maestro di Go, Cristina Ceci, Arnoldo Mondadori, Milano, 1995, ISBN 88-7710-513-5
  10. Chinese: Mingren, Ye Wei Qu (葉渭渠), Zhongguo Shehui Kexue Chubenshe, Beijing, 1996 (also published in Taiwan by Ecus Publishing House, Sindian, 2002, ISBN 986-7897-25-0)
  11. Russian: Mejdzin, Boris Kornilov, Arkadij Bogatskij, Kiev, 2003 (published already 1998 in Moscow and 2004 in the internet at [ext] lib.ru)
  12. Polish: Meijin - Mistrz go, Henryk Lipszyc, Wydawnictwo Elay, Bielsko-Biała, 2004, ISBN 83-916749-4-0
  13. Spanish: El Maestro de Go, Amalia Sato (translated from the English translation), Emecé Editores S.A., Buenos Aires, 2004, ISBN 950-04-2615-3
  14. Romanian: Maestrul de Go, Flavius Florea, Humanitas Fiction, Bucuresti, 2007, ISBN 978-973-50-1624-1
  15. German: Meijin, Felix Heisel (translated from the English translation with close reference, provided by Cindy Lindner and Mariko Terao-Dederichs, to the Japanese original), Brett und Stein Verlag, Frankfurt, 2015, ISBN 978-3-940563-22-4
  16. Brazilian Portuguese: O Mestre de Go, Meiko Shimon (translated from the Japanese original), [ext] Estação Liberdade, São Paulo, 2011, ISBN 978-85-7448-204-0

[ext] SGF of game in book

- John Fairbairn has published a book The Meijin's Retirement Game devoted to this game. In addition to a detailed commentary on the moves the book discusses the historical context of the game and the various translations that have been published.


Kawabata's Master of Go last edited by 2603:9001:6e0b:2694 on October 17, 2023 - 20:41
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