The Treasure Chest Enigma

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The Treasure Chest Enigma
By: Noriyuki Nakayama
Publisher: [!Published Privately], April 1984
191 pp.

The Treasure Chest Enigma is a collection of essays and ladder problems by Nakayama Noriyuki published by the author in 1984 and, at one time, distributed by Ishi Press. A beautiful hardcover volume of 191 pages with dust jacket and frontispiece photographs.

A second edition[1], with near identical content to the first edition, was published in 2005 by Slate and Shell.

The [ext] German edition[2] was published in 2008 under the title "Die Schatztruhe" by Brett und Stein Verlag.


[ext] Review by David Carlton.
[ext] Review by Bob McGuigan on the AGA website. The reviews are alphabetically organized, scroll way down.
Review by crux.

RafaelCaetano: There are some brief comments about this book in other SL pages, but no comments here... Well, I've just got a copy in a used bookstore. It's a delightful read!

You won't get stronger reading it, but who cares? If you're an addicted go player, this book is a must. Unfortunately the essays section is too short.

I was surprised with the informal, irreverent writing style of Nakayama. Are there other Japanese go writers (pro or not) who write like that?

Can someone tell us about "Tales of a man crazy about go" by the same author?

BobMcGuigan: The essays in Treasure Chest were translated from a collection titled Jitsuroku Igo Kodan. Gokyo Monogatari (Tales of a man crazy about go) is a similar collection of essays that were originally published in Igo Club magazine. A few of them were translated and published in Go World issue number 50. Mr.Nakayama has just published a two volume work Showa Igo Fu-un Roku (Record of the winds of change in Showa era Go), a sort of personal history of go during the reign of Emperor Hirohito including many anecdotes.

Guest: Personally, from scarce mentions on the internet, book was oversold for me. You’ll find such Nakayama at every other bus stop.

Most interesting part is several lines written about Kajiwara Takeo. In short, Kajiwara was an opening madman perfectionist, which is very inspiring, but you don’t need this book to know that in case you’ve read his magnum opus — “The direction of play”.

I view writing, and mainly poetry, as an art form. If you personally think that “bad art is good art” in a sense that all imperfections made by artist make it easy to relate to him, “it’s literally me” kind of thing, then you can try this book. If you think that bad art after all is just a bad art then don’t.

Table of Contents

Translators' Preface
Part One: Essays

  • The Treasure Chest Enigma
  • Strange Laughter at Midnight
  • Memories of Kitani
  • The Clam Shells are Heavy
  • The New Year's Eve Disciple
  • The Art of Resigning
  • The Second Drama

Part Two: Game Commentaries

  • The Ladder Mimic Game
  • Fujisawa Shuko v. Sakata
  • Kajiwara v. Cho Chikun

Part Three: Problems

  • Problems 1 - 20
  • Answers

Glossary of Japanese Go Terms
Biographical Details of Go Players
Book in Japanese by Nakayama Noriyuki

Sample Material

Other Languages

German: Die Schatztruhe published by Brett und Stein Verlag in 2008.

[1] Bob McGuigan: The second edition differs slightly from the first. The essays and game commentaries are unchanged but some of the ladder problems have been replaced with new ones.
[2] The German edition is based on the second edition of the English version.

The Treasure Chest Enigma last edited by Tesujitarian on April 10, 2024 - 14:17
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