This book is intended as a practical guide to the game of Go. It is especially designed to assist students of the game who have acquired a smattering of it in some way and who wish to investigate it further at their leisure.
As far as I know there is no work in the English language on the game of Go as played in Japan. There is an article on the Chinese game by Z. Volpicelli, in Vol. XXVI of the “Journal of the China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society.” This article I have not consulted. There is also a short description of the Japanese game in a work on “Korean Games with Notes on the Corresponding Games of China and Japan,” by Stewart Culin, but this description would be of little practical use in learning to play the game.
There is, however, an exhaustive treatise on the game in German by O. Korschelt. This can be found in Parts 21-24 of the “Mittheilungen der deutschen Gesellschaft für Natur- und Völkerkunde Ostasiens.” The student could readily learn the game from Herr Korschelt’s article if it were available, but his work has not been translated, and it is obtainable only in a few libraries in this country. In the preparation of this book I have borrowed freely from Herr Korschelt’s work, especially in the chapter devoted to the history of the game, and I have also adopted many of his illustrative games and problems.
Herr Korschelt was an excellent player, and acquired his knowledge of the game from Murase Shuho, who was the best player in Japan at the time his article was written (about 1880).
My acquaintance with the game has been acquired from Mr. Mokichi Nakamura, a Japanese resident of this country, who is an excellent player, and whose enthusiasm for the game led me to attempt this book. Mr. Nakamura has also supplied much of the material which I have used in it. Toward the end I have had the expert assistance of Mr. Jihei Hashiguchi, with whom readers of the New York Sun are already acquainted.
Wherever possible I have given the Japanese words and phrases which are used in playing the game, and for those who are not familiar with the system of writing Japanese with Roman characters, I may say that the consonants have the sounds used in English, and the vowels the sounds that are used in Italian, all the final vowels being sounded. Thus, “dame” is pronounced as though spelled “dahmay.”
NEW YORK, April, 1908