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The Master of Go

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Go is a game of strategy in which two players attempt to surround each other's black or white stones. Simple in its fundamentals, infinitely complex in its execution, Go is an essential expression of the Japanese spirit. And in his fictional chronicle of a match played between a revered and heretofore invincible Master and a younger and more modern challenger, Yasunari Kawabata captured the moment in which the immutable traditions of imperial Japan met the onslaught of the twentieth century.

189 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1951

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About the author

Yasunari Kawabata

250 books3,049 followers
Yasunari Kawabata (川端 康成) was a Japanese short story writer and novelist whose spare, lyrical, subtly-shaded prose works won him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968, the first Japanese author to receive the award. His works have enjoyed broad international appeal and are still widely read today.
Nobel Lecture: 1968

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 421 reviews
Profile Image for Adam Dalva.
Author 7 books1,512 followers
August 1, 2019
I loved this slim book - based partially on Kawabata's newspaper reports of one of the century's most famous Go matches. I don't understand the game at all (Wikipedia rabbit hole somehow left me more confused than when I started), but the psychological import of the conflict between the aged, stubborn master and his young challenger is fantastic. The obvious comp is Zweig's CHESS STORY, but this is quite different, an existential novel that in some ways is an extended metaphor about transitions in Japan during World War 2.

I loved some small scenes, like Kawabata playing an American on a train on the way back from a match: "If I pushed him back a little or made a surprise move, he quietly collapsed. It was as if I were throwing a large but badly balanced opponent in a wrestling match. Indeed this quickness to lose left me wondering uncomfortably if I might not have something innately evil concealed within me."

Death mask photography and a cameo of the storm from the Makioka Sisters (my favorite scene in ANY book) further elevate this beyond the game.
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 29 books13.5k followers
May 4, 2016
Kawabata writes a factual account of a Go match, which at one level could be compared with the sort of journalism you see in a magazine like New in Chess. He presents all the moves in the game, and comments the play. Somehow he turns it into an emotionally gripping meditation on life, art, fate and the inevitable destruction of traditional Japanese society. He apparently thought this was his best book - remember that he won the Nobel Prize.

It would be easy to say that this is a unique occurrence... but in fact, I think board games journalists are undervalued and Kawabata just happens to be the only one who's received any broader recognition. For example, Gena Sosonko is not as good, but it's not ridiculous either to compare him with Kawabata. In his case, he is mourning the vanished chess culture of the old Soviet Union.

Another interesting piece of Go lore I picked up from the German guy I was talking with this afternoon. Anyone who knows anything about the game can see immediately that Kawabata was a decent player. Apparently, he was rather more than just "decent" - he was strong enough that he once won a three stone handicap game against a 9 Dan professional. In chess terms, I'd say that's about equivalent to an International Master title. Impressive.

Now here's a development that's seriously confused my understanding of Kawabata's classic novel. A few days ago, Not and I watched the rather fine movie The Go Master - which, it might surprise you, isn't based on this book at all, but is a dramatization of the life of a different player, Go Seigen.

What's interesting for Kawabata fans is that the two stories intersect in an unexpected way. Go Seigen, a genius who is widely believed to be the greatest Go player of the 20th century, also played a match against Honinbo Shusai, the real-life prototype for "the Master" in Kawabata's book. Go seemed to be outplaying Shusai throughout, and Shusai, in desperation, resorted to an extremely unethical strategy. As the nominally stronger player, he had the right to adjourn the game when he wished, even when it was his turn to play. He did this several times, and each time analyzed the position together with his students before resuming. In the course of one of one of these adjournments, he found an unexpected move that changed the course of the game and allowed him to snatch a narrow victory. It is widely believed that the move was actually found by Shusai's student Maeda, later a top player in his own right. Maeda never confirmed or denied the story.

Five years later, Shusai played the match against Kitani that was immortalized in The Master of Go. Kitani, who was a friend of Go Seigen, naturally wanted to stop the Master from using the method that had worked so well for him in the previous match. In the face of considerable opposition, he required, and eventually obtained, a modification of the adjournment rule based on Western chess praxis. The player who wished to adjourn had to "seal their move", writing it down and putting it in a sealed envelope at the end of the playing session, so that both players would be on an even footing. As Kawabata recounts in the novel, Kitani understood the implications of the Western-style adjournment rule better than Shusai. At a critical juncture, he played a trivial forcing move to gain time to think, and this won him the game.

I have read the novel three times, and I believed it was clear that Kawabata was presenting Kitani's pragmatic action as unworthy and almost despicable. This seemed strange, since he is always referred to very positively in the Japanese Go literature. But now, knowing the background, I wonder if there is an ironic level that I have been missing. Kawabata, as noted, was a strong amateur Go player. It is inconceivable that he would not have been familiar with all the details of the earlier game between Go Seigen and Shusai, where Shusai had behaved in a far more underhand way than Kitani ever did. Basically, Shusai had it coming and everyone would have known this.

Is there anyone here who's read the book in the original and can comment?
Profile Image for Praj.
314 reviews792 followers
February 14, 2015

Two stones....two individuals. One game.....one world. The yin-yang philosophies sprouting from the wooden bowls on to a 19 x 19 arena. The small stones carrying the burden of altering destinies. In the realm of shōsetsu, Kawabata chronicles a factual reportage of a decisive championship game of Go held in 1938, between Honnimbō Shūsai and Mr. Kitano Minora. Abiding the culture of literary fiction, Kawabata confers fabricated identities to the players as well as to himself (Mr. Uragami) in this epic struggle that spans over the period of nearly six months.

**(Title holder Honnimbō Shūsai's last official game , his opponent being the 7th Class Mr. Kitani)**

“The game of Go is simple in its fundamentals and infinitely complex in the execution of them. It is not what might be called a game of moves, as chess and checkers.....”


The game of Go commences with the stone being placed at the intersection of the vertical and horizontal squares. The Black stone always taking the privilege of an opening move. The devious tap of the stone on the wooden grid echoes the hysteria of a transitional era. New laws and new tactical regulation overruled the aristocratic stubbornness by refined trickery. The strategic moves alternating the white and black stones delineated the struggle of aristocracy vs. liberalism; youth vs. old age; new vs. old; and art vs. gaming pragmatism.

“Shusai the Master would seem in a variety of meanings to have stood at the boundary between the old and the new.”

The frail and ill Master who revered the tradition of Go as a way of life and art , painfully observed the transition of his beloved painting into the commercial entity bound by scientific regulations and competitive aggressiveness. An inhabitant of the Meiji Era, the Master finds himself standing on the edge of modernity that challenges traditional mores and progress in a strange world with cries for equality. Mr. Uragami, in his reportage addresses the Japanese landscape that is suspended between the resistance of the old cultural mores and the democratic post- war revolution. The Master who was accustomed to conservative prerogatives struggled to rationalize the tactical moves of his young adversary Mr. Otake. The unorthodox Black-69 move struck like a spray of black ink spoiling the rhythm of the Master’s harmonic artistic play. Uragami wonders if the “invincible” Master was now as feeble as the scrawny legs that marred the authoritative illusion. Were the long recesses and the venue changes between the games, a defense from the fury of the Black stones? The Black stones were insensitive to the pleas of an aged clamshell stone. The exhaustion of insomnia that ravaged the serenity during the four day long recesses was now curious about the loneliness that sprang from the nostalgia of a waning art. The frail Master with all his might hung on to the last threads of his invincibility.

“In that figure walking absently from the game there was the still sadness of another world. The Master seemed like a relic left behind by Meiji”

On the bridge of transition was the battle of the Master to restore the vitality of the very game that made him bleed, justified? Is the birth of nostalgia, the loneliness of change more agonizing than physical death? Mr. Uragami poses a baffling question whether the metaphoric notion of “sealed in cans” would make our lives happier without our territories being invaded or are we equipped to forfeit our conquered territories to smell the fresh winds of change?


Go is fierce; it is a territorial game. Territory called “ji” in Japanese is formed by a continuous line bounding the adversarial stones in a captured territory.

“Had Go, like the Nō drama and the tea ceremony, sunk deeper and deeper into the recesses of a strange Japanese tradition?"

Go becomes the medium through which various boundaries are pitted against a strategic battle of sustainability and perishability. Otake’s robust and patiently timed moves paves a path to a modern strategic system that abides the essence of time and laws challenging the Master and capturing territories by abstract conditions of Justice. Mr. Uragami take this territorial battle further into the lives of the players and the existence of Go as a traditional art and as a embedded culture of a nation. The Game of Go that has its origins in China about 4ooo years ago is now an inhabitant of the Japanese culture. It has been explored and improvised by the Japanese societal mores for more than 12oo years to be an important artistic heritage of the Japanese cultural territory. The threat of this game being captured by foreign territories becomes conspicuous when Mr. Uragami expresses his skepticism over whether a foreigner (Dr.Dueball’s Germany- the game had attracted players from America) would do justice to the game of Go as he will be unaware of the history of the game and would treat it is a sheer game and not art that had become a way of life to many Japanese Go players. Does the mystery and the nobility of a game is diminished if played away from the land of its origin? Is a sovereign heritage greater than the art of the game? These similar worries was expressed by the Master when in a bid to reclaim his genius over the game, he witnessed Otake’s severe game brimming with scientific precision and slyness. The striking of the stones was echoing the violence of a tragic chasm of a competitive world that had bestowed the title of “invincibility” to the Master crafting a grand super-powerful figure. The Master became a citizen of a hallucinatory world where he achieved a winning immortality; a world where he believed he could not afford to lose. The mentioning of the fact that the Master had not played the Black stones for more than 30 years; inferences can be drawn of a possibility of the White stones being the honored territory of a Master. Is then this illusionary territory that brings tragic consequence when the sanguine vagueness is marred by the loneliness of reality? When does the player become larger than the game? When do the mores of cultural heritage become greater than its sovereign nation? When does the move ‘Black-69’ strike like the flash of a dagger piercing into the safeguarded territory of the player capturing his stone wall?

Contiguity of Stones

The continuity of the stones is established by placing them in row in a horizontal and vertical manner. Diagonally placed stones are vulnerable for a territorial captive attack.A lonely stone is unfavourable to the playing contestant.

“Don’t you suppose he was lonely?”……. “Yes. But he (the Master) was always lonely.”

Did the loneliness, the thought of him being the probable last surviving ‘Master of Go’ from the Meiji era made the Master vulnerable to Otake’s stubborn ambition? Like an isolated stone that becomes less powerful, did the seclusion of his artistic prowess in the modern world made him defenseless?

Mr. Uragami contradicts the play of contiguity by illustrating a breakage brought by modernity in the world of Go and its players. In the play of black upon white and white upon black, the threat of forfeiture prevailed right from the personal feelings of the players to the fate of the game in the altered Japanese landscape. In the emerging new age and fresh vitality of Go would the frequent threat of forfeiture interrupt the contiguity of history and traditions leading to the collapse of the stone’s sanguineness?

Life and death of the stone

A stone has a life and can be killed when entirely surrounded by the adversarial stone. In the war like game the stones and the players amalgamate into one whole existence. The notion of “sealed in tin cans” depicted during the play keeps the player from external disturbance. The game and its strategies follow the players until the game is over and even thereafter, as in the case of the Master. For a Go player each free moment is a risk management session increasing the pressures of time and the deliberation over the future moves brings certain quirks and nervous addictions. The sanity of life is found in the madness of Go.

“He is not just a genius. He is inhuman”

Unlike Mr. Otake, the Master was bled by the game of Go. The shadows of Go followed the Master hovering into the vagueness of his existence. As a true artist sculpting the Go art, the Master resisted from judging the persona of the opponent as it perverted the sanctity of the game. The Master calculated his every move even when he played a game of chess, billiards and mahjong. When the Master played his moves and the game consumed his life, at times making him lose the realization of his own identity. The stones had sealed his destiny as a ‘Go Master’ in a can of loneliness and the shrewd game has made him a sort of a martyr. Mr. Uragami who himself was an ardent fan of the Master, infers that there are two types of players: - one who are complacent with their game output and the other who meticulously enhance their art; the word satisfaction being a rarity in their game. The Master belonged to the latter. The Master had become a tragic figure, a ghostlike existence. Novelist Naoki Sanjugo who wrote himself to death asserts,-
“If one chooses to look upon Go as valueless , then absolutely valueless it is ; and if one chooses to look upon it as a thing of value , the a thing of absolute value it is."

So where does a player stop from not letting the game consume him? Is the art of the game that creates martyrs of its soldiers? The pleasure of the game brings seclusion from worldly exhilarations of life. The unadulterated sleep of a child is far fetched blessing in the cursed insomniac world ridden by chaotic configurations. When does the harmonic monochromatic ballet of Go become a war of spirit and destiny? Is then life greater than a man or is the man greater than the life? The long coarse white –hair on the Master’s eyebrow; the symbol of life’s longevity knew the answer and so did White-130.

Under the morbid tides of destiny the death of a stone. The game ends. Hope ends..... A new stone is astutely placed on an intersection. Once again, the game of Go begins , deciding a new destiny for its Master.

Profile Image for Riku Sayuj.
653 reviews6,945 followers
January 3, 2012
How Kawabata combines a journalistic narrative voice with such a rich literary tradition baffles me more than the intricate game of Go and it's complex representation of the structural game in society the novel is supposed to explore, and what a beautiful structure Kawabata takes us through, peeling such thin layers of meaning with each inflection and each crafty Go move between the classic master and the iconoclast challenger.
Profile Image for David.
Author 18 books333 followers
June 18, 2013

How does a book about a go game win the Nobel Prize for Literature? (Actually, the book itself didn't win the prize - Kawabata the author did, but this book is widely regarded as his best, and probably the one that sealed the Nobel for him.) You have to read this book to understand what it's really like. It's a semi-fictional chronicle of an actual game between a revered reigning master and a rising young champion destined to unseat him. Yes, I just spoiled the ending, but it's pretty much given away in the beginning, and the "plot" of this novel is not about who wins the game. It is based on an actual game and actual figures in the go world, as Yasunari Kawabata, a go reporter, wrote about it in serialized form in 1938.

Go is often described as a metaphor for life, God, the soul of Japan, a game with infinitely-layered meanings as complex as the universe itself. I have dallied with go myself and love the game, though I'm a piss-poor player and not even close to being good enough to appreciate deep strategy at the level necessary to read a player's personality and innermost feelings from a single move. Kawabata, an amateur as he repeatedly reminds us, but still pretty good by amateur standards and familiar enough with the game to report on it for Japanese newspapers, describes not just the game between the Master and his challenger, Otake, but how it reflects the arc of their personalities and the Master's past and Otake's future. The game takes place over a period of six months, with elaborate formal rules, frequently renegotiated (the negotiations being one source of conflict and stress), concerning how many days break will take place between each day of play, and how many hours will be spent playing. This is not a game like you or I would play sitting down at a table for an afternoon. These two men sit down at the board and spend anywhere from 40 minutes to 3 hours contemplating their next move, and might play five stones between them in an afternoon, then retire for a few days (or in some cases, because of health issues, weeks).

So, from whence comes the drama and conflict in this slow, thoughtful game? Needless to say there is no violence, no upturned boards or people drawing swords. (This was 1938, not 1638.) It comes from the author's observations about go, about the personalities, about how go has changed as Japan is changing. There is much description of rooms and landscapes and trees and weather, minute and delicate details which I've noticed to be a common feature in Japanese novels. There is also a great deal of profiling of the two men. At one point, we learn that the Master is angry - infuriated, even. But he doesn't show this by raising his voice or even changing his expression. It's expressed when, back in his room, he politely shakes his head over his opponent's play and discusses forfeiting. He's indignant when he believes that his opponent used a tactic of sorts (to call it a "trick" would be too strong) to gain time during a recess between sessions to think about his next move.

It's almost impossible to explain why this is a source of indignation if you don't know anything about go, and even if you do, it's still a little opaque to an amateur Westerner like me. Reading this book, you are getting a deep, nuanced view of very traditional Japanese mindsets at a time of great change, when the country and the world was moving beneath them. This one game is like a pond showing the ripples. And keeping in mind that not being Japanese, not being a master go player, and reading a translation, you're really seeing third-hand ripples reflected through a fuzzy lens. And yet you can still follow Kawabata's thoughts and see the contrast between the Master and his opponent.

I wish, as I wished when I read Hikaru no Go, that I was good enough to look at a single move and appreciate its sublime brilliance, or how it casts a shadow over the board, or why go professionals can study and discuss one move and its many long-reaching implications and how it indicates that the player is aggressive, weak, uncertain, reckless, subtle, devious, or resolved, etc.

The Master of Go is not exciting. You have to ease your mind into it. It's like staring at a painting by a master; you know you're looking at something brilliant but the degree to which you can apprehend the brilliance may be somewhat limited. Yet though the "story" is merely an account of a go game (and the formal social manuevering surrounding it), there is a slow building of tension to a climax no less satisfying for your knowing how it ends. It's a very literary novel and if you don't like Japanese literature, you probably won't like this book. However, while an appreciation for go will enhance your enjoyment of it, you don't need to know the game to read this book. They could as easily be playing some other game — think of it as Vulcan checkers — and you'd still get the same sensory impressions and characterizations from play even not having a clue about the rules. (The book does include diagrams of the game as it progresses, though — go students still study this game as one of the classics.)

It's a quintessentially Japanese book, but I found the translation quite accessible. I know that both go mastery and Japanese fluency would make it infinitely more accessible, though.
Profile Image for Lauren .
1,701 reviews2,299 followers
January 30, 2023
"This last match would be history..."

I got quite caught up in the drama of this novella - most of the said drama taking place in hushed rooms, sat upon tatami mats, everyone gazing upon a game board with black and white stones.

Kawabata's shōsetsu is better described as a chronicle-novel, described by his prolific translator Edward G. Seidensticker in the book's introduction, the gathered reportage + memoir of a 1938 Go match that Kawabata covered for the twin Osaka / Tokyo newspaper Mainichi. A true story, only the names of the characters are changed.

An aging Master's last round, a young opponent who recognizes the gravitas of the match, but wants to claim his spot; so much agonizing contemplation on where to place these numbered stones. The match continues intermittently over months of time with generous breaks in between for the players to rest, recover, and prep for the next "battle". The players actually make themselves sick with anxiety of stone placement on game days - stomach aches, sweats, nervous bladders.

We are told the results of the match early in the story, but this doesn't take away from the drama of the game play. We have visual diagrams of moves, placements - and my goodness, am I (kind of) understanding why the placing of White 130 was such a perilous move? - and play-by-play analysis by the amateur Go player/journalist, but also the fellow observers and apprentices critiquing the match.

Yes, it is about Go, but it's also about dualism, shifting tides, traditions, and modernity.

4.5 /5*
Profile Image for aPriL does feral sometimes .
1,865 reviews421 followers
January 30, 2019
YouTube.com has videos of people explaining how to play Go, so that is where I went to watch to prepare myself for this book.

That was edifying.

'The Master of Go’ is an acclaimed book, recognized in several countries as a masterpiece. However, it is NOT edifying.

A sick dying old man, a master of Go, plays an epic game against a young modern man. It is moved to various inns in Japan. Seasons pass, weather changes, illness comes and goes, negotiations stop the progress of the game, reporters eagerly follow the play week after week. The players meet about every three days, play can take 19 hours or three, and they might move one stone on the board or 20 moves. Often after a stone is moved, the opponent might take four hours of studying the board before making an answering move. Conversation between moves may occur, or not. Frequent bathroom trips indicate the tension. The Master's heart causes him frequent pain and he appears to be swollen in body, despite rarely eating. The author provides pictures of the moves on the game board. The narrator, a reporter who admires the Master, is brought to tears several times after desultory conversations with the Master despite the vagueness of the Master's responses. The game takes half a year to finish.

‘The Master of Go’ was written after WWII, but the action of the novel takes place in 1938 in Japan. It's supposed to be a heartfelt exploration of old values vs. new, Art vs. expertise, or in other words, tradition vs. change. Some even thought it obliquely was about the USA vs. Japan in fighting the war.

All I was thinking was how many more pages must I struggle through until I finished the book.

I was supposed to see or feel something, like a quiet realization of internal reverence, and a sense or feeling that a better way of existence is slipping away into the past. Instead I read on and on of two men glaring at each other, who occasionally take a break to sip tea and a walk. The old man stares maturely while the young man blinks with youthful vigor. Then one of them places a game piece down on a grid. I turned another page. Six months pass.

Oh, I did pick up the narrator's respectful sorrow. The narrator is an observing reporter. The reporter is quietly dazzled and shocked by depths of emotion the reporter somehow felt when looking at the stone faces of the players as they sit over the Go board. The feeling of the reporter was that of experiencing universal truths revealed.

What I actually felt was these men had created a bubble of (in)significance over a board game through misplaced numinous grandiosity.

I don't know. Maybe that was the author's point.
Profile Image for Mizuki.
2,928 reviews1,167 followers
November 19, 2018
A Go match must start at the appointed time even when the player's parents are on their deathbed or the player himself fell ill right over the chessboard.

The Master of Go records an old generation v.s. younger generation, tradition v.s. modern contest between one old Master of Go (actually, he was the last person to hold this title) and an up-and-coming one, and the actual event took place in year 1938.

The author, Yasunari Kawabata, who penned this novel years after he wrote serialized journalistic articles to record this match for a newspaper, was in fact a Go admirer and friend of the old Master of Go, that sounds great! I look forward to see Mr. Kawabata's take on this contest.

More to come.
Profile Image for Yuki.
223 reviews53 followers
September 12, 2016
EDIT: I wonder, would a pun(?) like 明治ん - 名人 be acceptable...?

A masterpiece, perhaps? - all of Kawabata's sentiments crammed into one book rather than an observation of a Go match. Though Kawabata's ideals doesn't strike me as those which are sensible, for some reason this book touches me more deeply than I've ever expected.
After reading this, I thought as if for a moment, I could understand the reasons behind his suicide.

Another one-sitting read; 4 stars, +1 personal star.
Profile Image for Smiley .
774 reviews18 followers
December 12, 2016
3.5 stars

I've just read an interesting article in The Japan Times entitled "An exploration of the great game at the heart of 'the Master of Go' by Tyler Rothmar, informing his readers that the battle took place nearly six months and the victor finalized exactly 78 years ago today (December 4, 2016). If you'd like to read the JT article, please visit this web page: [http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2...]

Reading this novel by Kawabata is, I think, a bit different from reading his other three, namely, "Snow Country", "Thousand Cranes", and "The Sound of the Mountain". One of the reasons is that it primarily focuses on the ultimate Go competition between the Master (Shusai) and the challenger (Otake) of the Seventh Rank from June 26, 1938 in Tokyo to December 4 in Ito (p. 4). The match was amazingly tactical, highly professional and horribly fierce to the extent that, due to his age, health and frailty, he finally gave in for Black 237, the last play by his opponent. (p. 6, diagram p. 177)

I've known vaguely about this famous Japanese Go since years ago with admiration because, as far as I know, those playing well deserve respects for their wisdom in planning that includes tactics in his defending as well as attacking. However, I'm not a Go player and I wonder which needs higher skills between playing Go or chess, and again, what kind of chess. Then, in this context, we'd be content with the country, that is, Japan since, I think, it's not fair or sensible to compare between a master of Japanese Go and a master of, say, Thai chess.

Therefore, I read this book as a Go-illiterate outsider curious of such "a faithful chronicle-novel" (p. v) and found his writing style surprising due to its 41 chapters of various length. Moreover, this chronicle depicts an unthinkable Go competition in its presumably national scale as waged by fate dictating the two Go warriors who use the Go board as their battlefield till 2.42 p.m. on December 4, 1938. (p. 6) So we merely read their fighting moves, for each having different time intervals as controled by the judges, the youth keeping the records and witnessed by the functionaries. Moreover, there're two sets of small numbered stones: Black 1, Black 3, Black, 3 ... Black 237 for Otake vs. White 2, White 4, White 6 ... White 236 for the Master. We can see how they start the decisive match on the chess-like Go board denoted by lines 1-19 (row) and letters A-T (across). There, Otake's started at R-16 while the Master's followed at R-4 (p. 36).

I came across a remark stating that "the first player has seven chances in ten of winning" (p. 57). I think this is a good remark from Go experts that need pondering and applying from both the challenger and the master. It's quite fair to allow more luck/chance for an opponent while a master with his charismatic, godlike stature should be satisfied due to his sublime Go skills. Indeed, I think if the Master could play Go and happily lost, like Sakine, Master of Chess, he could have enjoyed living longer.

This is not a romantic novel like the other three mentioned above, instead it's a novel-like story of such spine-chilling Go competitions. I'm sorry I don't understand the description of the diagram on page 177, that is, I can't find Black 201 and 203 (B-13 and C-13). Therefore, I'd appreciate my GR friends' information/explanation on the matter.

Finally, from Chapter 40, I'm a bit disappointed due to its lack of action/words from the great victor Otake, so I guess he may have spoken humbly, if need be, in honour of the Master. Certainly, the Master rightly deserves our respects for his graceful, heroic final mission. One more thing we need to take care, any serious match can be fatal, taking the middle way or being resilient should be the key to our success/satisfaction in our daily lives. Comparatively, Otake is the opponent the Master can see and plan to play the game, however, it's better if we'd rather have a few challenging us in the open for the face-to-face battle so that we know who they are and keep this in mind too.

Profile Image for Denisa Arsene.
347 reviews59 followers
January 13, 2020
This is my first meeting with Kawabata - and I believe is not the last. I had some emotions when I began reading - I didn't know the author's style, I had no idea about the game (still in the same place). But I came to understand that the story is not about the game of go, but about the clash of two generations, of two - we can say- civilisations. I am a traditionalist and I also love Japanese civilisation, their respect for tradition, for elders, for family and for others. Of course their tradition chaged a bit, but they integrate the new, they naturalize it in their own way.
It's almost like this game which is, originally a Chinese one and only after 10 centuries it enters in Japan and becomes an Art.
I was always on the meijin's side.
When - in train - there was a game between the journalist and the American, we can understand the difference between the two cultures: the respect and the good sense on one side and the aggressivness and the spirit of warrior (who has to win no matter what and how) on the other hand.
Following the game between the meijing and Otake 7-dan, it was like, almost, you were the witness of the clash of tradition and modernity. One could feel how some good things, attitudes and ideas died.
I think it's the case all over the world and a lot deeper than it is in Japan.
I loved this book. It is a must reading.
Profile Image for Yann.
1,407 reviews330 followers
July 24, 2015

Un bon roman dédié au jeu de Go, l'un des plus complexes en dépit de règles relativement simples. Cette édition présente des diagrammes de l'évolution de la partie. L'accent est mis sur le duel, inspiré par des évènements réels, entre un vieux maître et un jeune outsider. La partie s'étale pendant fort longtemps, avec des interruptions de plusieurs semaines.

Au delà de l'affrontement, une des interprétation avancée dans la préface est qu'au travers de cette histoire, l'auteur a voulu figurer la mutation progressive entre un japon nourri de valeurs aristocratiques issues du passé féodal, faites d'excellence, d'honneur, de sacrifice, vers des valeurs démocratiques plus pragmatiques, faites de calcul, d'efficacité et qui ne s'embarrassent pas de toute la fastidieuse étiquette de l'ancienne éthique. Une évolution que l'auteur déplorerait nostalgiquement. Tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in illis.
Profile Image for Laurent De Maertelaer.
710 reviews89 followers
September 18, 2016
Spannend relaas van een legendarische go-wedstrijd, waarbij de grootmeester wegens ziekte het onderspit delft en het prototypische jong talent zijn smerigste trukendoos opentrekt. Kawabata ritmeert perfect, bouwt de spanning op en graaft diep in de spelerszielen, dit alles in zijn typische ingetogen stijl. Met tekeningen van het verloop van de langdurige kamp, voor wie die wil naspelen. Onthaasting voor amateurs van bordspelen en japanofielen. Heerlijk.
PS: zijn er go-spelers op Goodreads? Wil het spel graag terug opnemen en tegenwoordig zijn er heel wat online platformen. Just a shot in the dark.
Profile Image for Tyler Jones.
1,534 reviews74 followers
February 6, 2017
One sign of a master writer is the ability to match subject and style. I can think of no better example of this than The Master of Go, by Kawabata. The careful elegance of Kawabata's writing slowly, almost imperceptibly, creates layers and patterns of meaning in a very similar way to how a game of go might develop. To the untutored eye, the first stones placed on the board seem to fall at random, but the master already sees the battle to come and these first stones plant the seeds of the war. So too the reader is lulled by the almost meditative pace of the narrative, which develops as slowly as the game does. Kawabata builds tension not by advancing the action, but by restraining it, so while the reader may not learn the actual rules of the game, they will understand the spirit of the game perfectly.

The novel is also an excellent example of the Japanese form of shosetsu - a kind of chronicle novel that does not sacrifice art to be factual. While the western literary tradition is somewhat obsessed with defining the line between fiction and non-fiction, Japanese literature seems to have long evolved past this either/or distinction. One can only hope we in the west adopt a similar tradition to shosetsu - it would certain save people like James Frey a good deal of trouble.

The Master of Go is a beautiful and sad novel. Sad because it portrays people who are completely immersed in their art, and this level of dedication to art seems to be less and less common. Perhaps for the very reason it is uncommon, this portrayal of the uncompromisingly dedicated life is very important.
1,062 reviews92 followers
November 26, 2019
Japanese Culture à Go-go

In 1938, a go match was played over six months in 14 sessions at several different locations in Japan. The opponents were the grand master, Shusai, and Otake, a younger professional challenger. Kawabata, then 39 years old, was the newspaper reporter who covered the match for Tokyo and Osaka newspapers. After the war, he turned his reportage into a novel which still retains much of the feeling of reports. If you don't know the game of `go', played with white and black stones on a board, or if you are not at all familiar with Japanese culture, then this book is probably not a good place to begin reading Japanese literature. However, if that is not the case, then Kawabata's subtle depiction of many themes in Japanese culture and in human life, may give you pleasure. He often turned to comparisons of the "old Japan" and the "Westernized Japan" in his novels. Here we find such human themes as the sick old man versus the young one or Life versus Death. But also the author wrote"From the way of Go, the beauty of Japan and the Orient had fled. Everything had become science and regulation." (p.52) Players worried about points, not elegance or dignity. Otake represents the new, the ambitious, the unrefined; the old master all that was vanishing, all that Kawabata mourned. As a novel about an arcane contest which still can bring out all these important, even universal, themes, THE MASTER OF GO is an amazing feat. If this sounds interesting, give it a try. You definitely won't find another novel like it ! Kawabata certainly deserved the Nobel Prize.
Profile Image for Iván Ramírez Osorio.
266 reviews27 followers
November 20, 2018
Kawabata es tranquilo, paciente, conciso, detallado y letal. Como jugador de Go, parece que cada una de sus palabras está fríamente calculada.

Enorme libro
Profile Image for Tsung.
256 reviews67 followers
December 7, 2018
This is probably not the best novel to get started on Kawabata. It is not representative of his usual sensory or sensual style of writing. Instead it is more contemplative and reflective. It was a bit draggy in parts with the details of the championship game. The ending also seemed incomplete.

”The invincible Master” had lost his last championship match.

It was the end of an era. Not only did Shusai’s reign finally come to an end, the new champion was not his choice as a successor. It was not just a case of being overtaken by the next generation, the master was overwhelmed by modern ethos and rules. There was a distinct loss of control, whereas in times gone by, the master was omnipotent in the realm of go.

There was something unreal about the pictures, which may have come from the case, the ultimate in tragedy, of a man so disciplined in an art that he had lost the better part of reality.

The master was a man obsessed. He was so consumed by the game, that he even neglected his own health. His ultra competitive nature shows in how he managed his break time, when he still continued to compete in other games such as chess and billiards. In contrast, Otake, the challenger was more in touch with reality. Family had a higher priority in life for Otake.

The Master seemed like a relic left behind by Meiji.

Perhaps there might be some sociopolitical undertones to the story.

Readable but not engaging.
Profile Image for Philippe Malzieu.
Author 2 books114 followers
February 28, 2014
The good books about the game are rare. I know only four one, "The chess player" Zweig, "Loujine defense" Nabokov, "Little chess player "Ogawa and this one.
He is exceptionnal. The Go is a very special game. By the time, territory is occupied. It's a brain représentation. Chcker draw waves, attacks, idea. I think that go is the reflect of himself.
Two player : old master personnify eternal old Japan and young master who is the future. The story came fron a real party after second world war.
It does not matter to know which gained, the challenge is not there. With the end of the old Master, it is a certain idea of Japan which disappears.
In complement of this reading, I advise you a Swiss film of Richard Dembo, "La diagonale du fou" Oscar of best foreign film in 1985.
Profile Image for Pablo.
391 reviews7 followers
January 16, 2018
Un último juego que representa más que el enfrentamiento entre lo nuevo y lo viejo, sino que dos generaciones que por sucesos históricos tienen paradigmas de la vida contradictorios.
La dicotomía de los grandes autores japoneses del siglo XX quizás tiene a este libro como su producto más representativo.
Profile Image for Kristel.
159 reviews52 followers
January 12, 2015
This novel about the last game of a dying Go master was a gift to me by friends. They knew of my longstanding interest in Go and gave me this novel for my birthday. I've previously read a couple of Yasunari Kawabata's short stories in anthologies but I've always felt his writing to be at least one shade more oblique than is comfortable. This book, which is apparently more straightforward than a lot of his other novels, is quite difficult to parse as an emotional work. But I still end up contemplating its themes, turning them over in my head as one's fingers would fiddle a Go stone.

Yasunari Kawabata's The Master of Go is an example of the shishosetsu, a novel form that hinges upon the fictionalization of real events as experienced by the author. In this particular novel, the author is the newspaper correspondent covering the retirement game of the highly influential Go master Honinbo Shusai and the innovative younger player Otake (a thinly veiled fictionalization of eventual Go legend Minoru Kitani). Kawabata uses the actual game record in his storytelling, a recreation of which you can access here.

The novel opens with the news of Honinbo Shusai's death. He was the last hereditary heir to the tile of Honinbo, the dominant school of Go for the last 300 years. Shusai did not a name a successor--instead, he bequeathed the name Honinbo to the Japan Go Association. In many ways, Shusai's death was the end of Go as the genteel preoccupation of the shogun class, a break from the the imperial past. Interspersed with the story of his wake and the people traveling to pay their respects are scenes from the actual game, spanning six grueling months and several cities.

His competitor Otake has as much of his reputation on the line, if not more. He is one half of the two pillars of a new movement within the game called Shin Fuseki. I recognize the inherent nerdiness of calling board game moves "revolutionary," but believe me when I say that Shin Fuseki changed so much of game theory that it's now very difficult to apply the opening of games from the last century to current gameplay. Ask me in the comments and I'll try to elaborate in the wonkiest way I can.

You know that Hemingway exhortation about stories being icebergs where most of the mass is under the surface? Well, the Master of Go is basically an iceberg the size of a continent and the only visible part is one square yard of unadorned reportage. The novel works most overtly as an elegy, a mourning of the past by sensitive and artistic souls who are uncertain of a highly industrialized present. Though the game itself occurred in in 1938, Kawabata (who published it serially in 1951) transforms the story to encompass Japan's modernization, militarization and eventual loss in World War II. A significant percentage of his narrative is consumed by Shusai's ambivalence with the new, rigorous rules of Go, ostensible improvements that for him renders the game dehumanized.

Another, more subtle motif in the story is the idea of the game as a pure form, untouched by the outside world. One scene features a visibly angered Otake threatening to forfeit because the length of the game has forced him to be away from his family and school for extended periods, sometimes due to the caprice of the older Honinbo. His fatigue ends up showing in his performance. Another crucial plot point involves the use of the rules to get more thinking time in between sessions. On a more meta level, it also made me examine the idea of a "pure novel" that exists perfectly outside of all intertextuality. Because I found a lot of the themes opaque as I was reading the book, a lot of my subsequent pleasure comes mostly outside of it, from reading about historical context and studying commentary on the actual game. My opinion has also been colored by the knowledge that Shusai himself had been a highly divisive figure throughout his life, a discovery that tempers the idea of him as a figure of bodhisattvan temperance, enduring one last painful game to glorify posterity.

My experience with Kawabata is a circuitous road. As a teenager, I was very fascinated with the author Yukio Mishima, who wrote existentialist and dramatic set pieces that had made him one of the foremost Japanese modernists. In a Mishima biography written by John Nathan, he relates Mishima's admiration and respect for the older Kawabata, a sensei/kouhai relationship that struck many as ironic given the vast difference of their personalities. Mishima was bold and iconoclastic, while Kawabata was serene and seemingly removed from time. There was one particularly poignant anecdote about Mishima's conflicted feelings when Kawabata was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968--Mishima (who actually nominated Kawabata to the Swedish academy) knew that the Nobel wouldn't be awarded to a Japanese author again within his lifetime. Two years later, Mishima would commit suicide through seppuku after participating in an attempted rightist coup.

My years have also tempered my fascination for these two writers, who seemed so preoccupied with the beauty in death and the mourning of a bygone era. For Kawabata in particular, the past is another country, and he is the perpetual exile.
Profile Image for Phrodrick.
870 reviews38 followers
March 8, 2020
Given that Yasunari Kawabata was a Nobel Prize winner (1968) and that is one of the few lists I tend to consider, and given how many positive reviews his The Master of Go received I took it up as a fairly short introduction to this writer. I will be seeking other of his titles, but I am not sure how much of this book I grasped. On the surface this is a near hour by hour dry reporting of how a great classic Master of the Chinese game of Go played and lost his final match to a new and new style player. Clearly a detailed knowledge of the game, something of which I have none, would help a reader to understand that portion of the book. If the target audience is more universal than just Go aficionados than more detail would just be clutter.

There are also those who, by knowing the game shrug at this book, as a thinly fictionalized re-telling of an real epochal game. That game may have been the inspiration for the book, but this is fiction and therefore the history is background, not limits on the writer. Knowledge of the history can become a distraction from the fiction. My suggestion is that the game in the book is more a structure for the story than the point.

Through its first person narrator we get a fairly detailed overview of the struggle between the never before defeated master of the simple to learn but highly sophisticated game of Go and the upstart challenger. Much of the novellas 182 pages are about the playing style, the backroom politics- the changes in how the game is played, scored and how game play is negotiated.

The game is Chinese, but this match is between Japanese players. We are told and reminded that however much the game originated in China, it is, at the time of the novel a near total Japanese cultural possession. Background to the noel is the recent victory of Japan over Russia and Japan’s emergence as a recognized world power. Things as simple as a decision to wear western or Japanese dress has implied significance. Japan itself is in the middle of a process of modernization. Retaining its reverence for things, people and traditions past even as it is pushes itself into a newer, brasher, harder edged and soon to be militarized national persona.

Our narrator is as vaguely aware of this and unsure of what it means, or how it will change things in Japan’s near future. This definitely applies to the Game of Go but the implication and by extension to the nation of Japan.

There is something indirect, delicate, and unemotional about this writing that moves me to think in Japanese stereotypes. Everything is there and in so many words, yet the term inscrutable seems appropriate. It may be that The Master of Go is a poor introduction to a clearly subtle and sophisticated author. In this case the failure to appreciate this short book is mine and more exposure is likely to be more rewarding.
Profile Image for J.M. Hushour.
Author 6 books196 followers
September 15, 2016
Kawabata is my most recent literary obsession, I'm just gonna read everything he ever wrote and I haven't gotten very far. "Scarlet Gang" was experimental and awesome, "Snow County" and "Thousand Cranes" and the"Palm-of-Hand Stories" sparse, gently, and apocalyptic (in a love sense), and "The Master of Go" is really not like the others at all. Kawabata fictionalizes an actual final game of Go he covered as a journalist, a last contest between one of its most famed players, terminally ill and failing, and a younger, distraught player of some skill.
It leans towards a more abstruse and symbolist structure and hue than his other earlier novels, is, in Japan, considered his best, and was considered by Kawabata himself his only "complete" novel.
It doesn't quite lack the quiet devastation of the works mentioned above, it takes a different approach, framing the story through the nuances of the game itself, while chronicling the slow, inevitable death of a master.
Profile Image for Aubrey.
1,287 reviews730 followers
January 17, 2022
He went happily through game after game, as if to say that it was silly to take a mere game seriously.
I feel as if I've already begun a review with 'Coming to this book at my stage in my reading career...' in recent times, but when one's spent time fiddling over vaguely formed pieces of text in more than a thousand such review boxes, one's bound to repeat oneself. But what is repetition if not the progenitor of practice and, one hopes, the key to proficiency? For this is the 48th work that is either entirely of or majorly incorporates text that was originally composed in Japanese that I've read on this site, as well as the fourth by Kawabata that I've indulged in within the same period, and after years muddling through a relationship with Japan that, I would hope, has progressed somewhat from escapist fetish to sardonic interest, it's almost a pleasure to read the text and, then, observe it. For what continues to link that far off country and mine has as much to do with the each nation's reciprocated interest in the foreignness of the other as with the histories of atrocities the two share, and this particular work, with its confidence in its mastery, its pride in its enculturation, and its flirtations with a nationalism that incorporates historical record alongside Sinophobic phrenology, says as much about the trajectory Japan took from 1938 to 1951 as does the average textbook. I know enough to realize such, but whether it is from a lack of knowledge or from one of relevant personal experiences, I still find this text pleasurable on an instinctive level, perhaps with the same sentiment that "tall foreigner," whom the narrator insert for Kawabata plays Go against during a train ride, takes his being utterly trounced in stride: why fret over a few lost games when the war has already been won.

The reinforcing effect of "Occidental"/US obsession with "Oriental"/Japan is it makes it so easy for the casual novice to take a deep dive into the context of many an individual facet of that "fascinating" culture when so much of the knowledge has been built up for free. Take the English Wikipedia, its huge gaping holes regarding entire populations and countries not preventing it from having well fleshed out pages on not only Kawabata and this particular work of his, but also the historical game itself and its associated players. From there you can fall down the rabbit holes of the second Sino-Japanese War, the circumstances guiding the usage of "sealed plays" in this particular game, and a number of other segues that are certainly good at elucidating much of what goes on this piece, but also tends to make things a great deal messier. In my case, I have a habit of deriding excess and/or unevenly applied instances of sentiment, overtly casting one particular figure as the sympathetic subject at the expense of many an object that best remain a well behaved foil or so help the author's narrative choices, and Kawabata certainly does that in spades. What he also does is compose his narrative with elegancy, poignancy, and incisiveness, never braying on with twenty words when two or three will do, and in the wake of certain sidelong reads that grow increasingly more like procrastinated-on public presentations with every empty bloviation and pusillanimous narrative choice, I have to give credit where credit is due. Sometimes, when it comes to writing, it's the difference between the machine gunning of a dart board and the push of an anesthesiologist's needle: the divide between mass advertising in hopes at least one of slogans will stick, and art.

Ultimately, in some ways, this is an extreme example of a work that is as much as one is willing to put into it: a writing of culture in the face of soulless capitalism, a mourning of the past while the unfeeling future brutally thrusts in at one's door, a tale that would likely have been told very differently had it been penned during the occupation of D.C. by the Imperial Japanese Army, rather than during the Allied Occupation of Japan. It's also one of those pieces that, on this particular site, inspire the kinds of reviews that tell you exactly how full of themselves the reviewer is and in what fashion, and oftentimes all you can do is admit to yourself which singular breed of scintillating pontification is your particular poison and hitch a ride for as long as you can live with yourself throughout the duration. In any case, Kawabata will probably prove to be one of those authors I keep progressing through the bibliography of simply because of how easy book sales and the general peer approved aura surrounding his works make it, but it won't be due to me falling for the espousal of "international appeal" or whatever other phrases settler states like to normalize their comrades-in-ideologies with. What I enjoy is the familiar with the new, carefully enunciated, deeply enculturated, consciously encapsulated, and so long as Kawabata holds up his end of the bargain (especially in light of his deep friendship with Mishima), I don't see myself declaring any of his pieces a favorite, but I also won't dismiss him as having lived out his usefulness. Hardly the bombastic yay-or-nays my particular venue of literature loves to push out these days, but a moderation of modernity in view of all that came before is rather the point of this piece, no?
"If one chooses to look upon Go as valueless," [Naoki Sanjūgo] said, "then absolutely valueless it is; and if one chooses to look upon it as a thing of value, then a thing of absolute value it is."
Profile Image for Cam *tactile seeker*.
228 reviews46 followers
August 6, 2018


Kawabata Yasunari chronicles a go match between an old, sick, declining master and a young, modern, aggressive rising star for one of Japan's most popular newspaper, and he does that from the point of view of someone relatively new and inexperienced at go; the book version of his account presents a scheme of each step of the game, from the beginning throughout its progression, until the dramatic conclusion.
Despite its simple, basic rule - surround more territory than the opponent - go is an extremely difficult game; it is presented as basically being a military strategy, sublimating itself into an art, like many Japanese cultural activities and martial arts: ikebana, tea ceremony, karate, judo, etc.

Even as a total novice to the game, one can tell how meaningful and rich every single rule, scheme, movement can be. For the players, the game is so important that they spend their free time between matches reviewing what they've done so far and playing other board games.

Kawabata finds himself hypnotized by the match, inevitably drawn to the personal lives of the two players, betraying a clear predilection for the old master, so exhalted by his words that the reader, too, ends up caring and supporting him instead of the young champion.
I wrote "inevitably" because the total length of the match is about six months: the old master health issues cause a lot of postponements. During that time, Kawabata keeps on visiting with the man and often spends the night at the same hotels where he stays.

Overall, "The Master of Go" is probably one of my favorite Japanese literature books: it's quite a simple, short book. One could say that it's even too "technical" about the go rules and slow-pacing.
I think it perfectly depicts the Japanese society and culture: there's a Japanese art, no matter that it was first invented in China; it is 100% Japanese now. There's a clash between old and new, tradition and modernity, rules and rebellion. There's the ever-present nature, beautiful and heart-breaking, accompanying and reflecting the joys and sorrows of the protagonists.
There's the writing, which may seem uncomplicated and plain at first, but which actually reveals itself to be poignant and extremely captivating.

I found myself surprised when I reached the last page. It felt a lot like breaking up a spell.
Profile Image for Andrés.
116 reviews
June 27, 2008
Well, I still don't know if the problem is Kawabata's writing or Seidensticker's translating, but I have a feeling it's the latter. This is the second Seidensticker translation I've read ("Snow Country" was the first), and the lack of flow is very noticeable. There's no rhythm or melody to his writing, so you feel you are walking along an incredibly uneven path that makes unexpected turns all the time. This reinforces my belief that translators must not only be adept in both languages, but must be good writers themselves for them to properly translate someone else's writing.

The examination of past and future, which supposedly was at the centre of this book, never really got off the ground. You just learn that the Master was arbitrary and Otake was... what? Indecisive? Too emotional? Too rule-bound? It's never made clear what exactly makes Otake representative of Japan's future, just that he has certain personal qualities that clash with the Master's personal qualities. In fact, this is the problem with the book: rather than small observations accumulating into an overall picture, all you get are small observation strewn across a Go board without much strategy or purpose.
Profile Image for Bbrown.
676 reviews83 followers
July 5, 2014
I read this and Stefan Zweig's Chess Story back-to-back, and was very happy that I did. Both deal with the psychological effects of obsessing over complex boardgames, and explore a central character whose life has been consumed by such obsession. Despite the fact that Chess Story takes a fictional approach, while Kawabata's book is based on an actual person, there were many parallels between the two works, and each highlighted aspects of the other that otherwise I might have missed. While both books on their own are probably only worth three stars, the resonance created by reading them one after the other magnified my enjoyment so much that I'm giving both four stars.
Profile Image for gio.
1,012 reviews386 followers
March 9, 2020
Did I *just read a 200+ pages book narrating a go match between two players whose characteristics personify the clash between tradition and innovation in a certain period of Japanese history?

*just is incredibly fictional here because I’m extremely behind in reporting my actual reading on goodreads lol
Profile Image for Δανάη Ιμπραχήμ.
Author 4 books335 followers
May 18, 2022
Πρώτα από όλα, λυπάμαι όταν βλέπω ότι κλασικά βιβλία λογοτεχνίας και βραβευμένοι συγγραφείς δεν έχουν μεγαλύτερη απήχηση γιατί δεν είναι "λευκοί". Κόσμε, πρέπει να διευρύνουμε τους ορίζοντες μας.

Το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο αναμιγνύει την πραγματικότητα με τη φαντασία. Ο συγγραφέας μεταφέρει στη σφαίρα του fiction ένα παιχνίδι στο οποίο ήταν παρόν, κατά τα τέλη της δεκαετίας του 1930. Πρόκειται για το Go, ένα διαδεδομένο παιχνίδι στην Ιαπωνία, το οποίο έχει βοηθήσει αρκετούς ανθρώπους να αναδείξουν ικανότητες στρατηγικής. Δεν πρόκειται για ένα βιβλίο σασπένς και αγωνίας, καθώς ξέρεις από την αρχή πώς τελειώνει. Ο συγγραφέας δίνει έμφαση στην ψυχοσύνθεση των δύο παικτών και πώς οι ενέργειες τους και η τότε κατάσταση τους - ψυχική και σωματική- οδήγησε σε αυτή την κατάληξη. Είναι ευκολοδιάβαστο και δίνει μία αρκετά καλή εικόνα της ιαπωνικής κοινωνίας και κυρίως της κουλτούρας γύρω από το παιχνίδι.
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