Waseda University Go Club
Waseda University Go Club (WUGC) is a Go club recognized by Waseda University since 1950 and organizational member of the Kanto Student Go Association (KSGA). It is recognized as one of the largest, oldest and strongest university Go clubs in Japan. They have received the Ono Azusa Memorial Award from the university in 2001, 2007 and 2011.
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Their headquarters, like those of other clubs, are located in the Student Union Building, on the same campus as the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Shinjuku Go Center (SGC, official website) has been their weekly training place since November 2019, when they had to change location due to building reconstruction. Non-Waseda visitors to SGC can join WUGC training with permission and entrance payment to SGC.
The WUGC is financed by university grants, alumni donations and membership fees, which are needed to pay for use of the SGC, membership of the KSGA and participation in KSGA-operated competitions.
Undergraduate Waseda students can maintain their membership for a fee of 100 US$ a year, which is much cheaper than ANA Intercontinental Tokyo Go Salon and Okura Tokyo Go Salon. Membership is required to attend the general assembly, at which policies are set and the executive director elected. For graduate students and non-Waseda students, semi-membership is available for about 50 US$ per year, which allows them to get discounts for WUGC-operated events. WUGC claims to have more than 20 members, which is a condition to be authorized by the university office.
At WUGC, as at many university Go clubs, officials are usually 2nd and 3rd grade students, permitting 4th grade and graduate students to concentrate on their thesis, internship, or job hunting. In order to lead the 2nd and 3rd grade students, the executive director and financial manager will be elected (these positions are required to be authorized by the university office).
Due to their large membership, WUGC is often expected to promote Go in and around Waseda. For example, KSGA frequently hires WUGC students as their directors.
This is a 5 by 5 team competition among university Go clubs (substitute players can also be registered). Only regional champions can attend to here. WUGC has won the National Champion Trophy 15 times, more than any other university Go club, in 1970-1973, 1996, 2000-2001, 2006-2007, 2010-2011, 2013-2014, 2016 and 2018. Their main competitor at this stage since 2006 has been the Ritsumeikan University from Kyoto Prefecture.
This is also a 5 by 5 team competition among university Go clubs with KSGA membership. The regional rivals are Keio University Go Club (KUGC) and University of Tokyo Go Club (UTGC). The regional matches are held in the Spring and Autumn, and the winner can advance to the national championship. If different clubs win the two seasons, a play-off is held. The latest play-offs have been held in 2015, 2013, 2008, 2006 and 2005, all between Waseda and Keio.
The spring league is held in the 1st week of May, which includes many national holidays. In other words, this is a short term league.
The autumn league is held in the Sundays of October or November, so it takes at least 3 weeks. So the schedule condition is different between both seasons.
This is a 3 by 3 female student team competition among university Go clubs with KSGA membership. It is held independently of the leagues above. WUGC has regularly sent their team to it, and won it many times: 16/20 in the 2010s, losing only 2010 autumn, 2015 autumn, and 2018 and 2019 autumn.
WUGC does not have official relations with Waseda affiliated schools, but they take open-minded responses (including several exchanges among them) to Go players from these schools. There are several WUGC-equivalent university Go clubs in Japan, but perhaps WUGC may be the strongest when affiliated schools are included.
- In 2019, two Waseda Saga students were chosen as prefecture representatives to the High School Championship, and one of them finished in 6th place ( Result announcement).
- Another student has represented Saga Prefecture in 2010 & 2011 at the High School Championship.
Perhaps the 2010s was the golden age of WJGC.
- 2010: WJGC ranked 7th at the U12 championship ( Results).
- 2012: WJGC ranked 6th at the U12 championship ( Results).
- 2013: WJGC represented Tokyo in the U15 championship ( results). On behalf of team WJGC, Kobayashi Aya (Kobayashi Izumi's sister) was invited to an exhibition match against Ogawa Tomoko ( Announcement).
- 2016: Another WJGC member has represented Tokyo in the U15 championship ( Player list).
- Aoba Kaori
- Aragaki Miki
- Fujiwara Akiko – former Insei, 3-time winner at the Female Student Honinbo, represented Japan at the World Students Go Oza Championship.
- Hoshiai Shingo - Hoshiai Shiho's brother, 2014 High School Champion, 2017 winner at All Japan Student Go Best 10.
- Saiki Kaho
- Sasago Risa
- Shimosaka Miori
- Takizawa Yuta - 2007 Amateur Honinbo, 2003 winner of the All Japan Student Go Best 10, 2017 winner of the International Amateur Pair Go Championship (held by the International Go Federation) with Unegawa Marie
- Unegawa Marie - 2003 finalist at the All Japan Female Amateur Championship