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The Direction of Play

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  10 reviews
This book is a lucid exposition of the basic principles of Kajiwara's go theory and a guide to applying these principles in your own game. Above all else, Kajiwara emphasizes the importance of careful analysis in order to determine the correct direction of play, that is, the direction in which a stone or a group of stones exerts its main influence. He demonstrates that eac ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 28th 1998 by Kiseido Publishing Company (first published March 1979)
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Jan 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: games, japanese, go-go-go

Reading this book is about as close as I have got to receiving a message from an alien planet. Kajiwara was renowned in Go circles for his uncompromising attitude and short temper. He was one of the best Go players in the world, and spent his whole life mastering this extraordinarily difficult game, which is of course hardly known in the West. I am not quite sure what he is trying to do in this book. Sometimes you feel he is talking to you as an equal, explaining deep philosophical ideas about t
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: igo-baduk
Another "must-read" Go book that demands a board and stones and meticulous study and, quite possibly, many re-studies as you progress in the game. Highly recommended.

The only reason for the 4 stars instead of the 5 stars, is that sometimes the diagrams can be confusing or be misplaced in comparison with the text, making studying the whole situation a bit weird. Apart for that, very solid content!
Alexey Vyskubov
I need to re-read this book when (if) I'm around 3d. For my 3k-on-a-good-day I find it a bit difficult (though still useful).
Chloe Moon
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wow! I love Takeo's writing style. He approaches the game with such a reverence and intensity. I feel like reading this restructured a fundamental way I saw the game. Reading this made me see with much more clarity stones' relationships one to another...and the power they cast over the entire board.

I read this as an 8k, and while I learned a lot, much of it was beyond my ability.

One of my favorite Go quotes of all time, from the first chapter: "Every time you place a stone on the board you are e
Nov 12, 2011 rated it liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this little book. Takeo’s style, while intense, is very entertaining. Most go books stress taking the whole board into account when selecting moves and strategy. Well, that’s pretty much the point of DOP. Nothing new, right? KT just spends 250 pages illustrating ways to see this idea. He analyzes many examples of bad moves — his own, taken from his own games. He makes bold statements. He takes issue with joseki. He says things like “listen to your stones” and will contradict ...more
S Shah
Sep 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Morgan Hankins
One of my favorite go books. Almost completely void of technical instruction which most Go books rely on. In this text Kajiwara focusses on the game from a philosophical point of view. He invites his readers to think about the game broadly, and to make decisions based on axioms for success, rather than wrote memorization. This is key for developing the ability to play good opening moves, in particular.
Jan 31, 2011 marked it as did-not-finish-reading
This book is a bit advanced for my level; the conversational tone makes it more readable yet less comprehensible.
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Takeo Kajiwara challenges his readers to understand the personality of their stones braking habits of pedantic joseki play.
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54 likes · 38 comments
“Every time you place a stone on the board you are exposing something of yourself. It is not just a piece of slate, shell or plastic. You have entrusted to that stone your feelings, your individuality, your will power, and once it is played there is no going back. Each stone carries a great responsibility on your behalf.” 3 likes
“No, stones are something more - they are instruments of power.” 2 likes
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