Peaky Yuter: Go

Mid semester I decided that I wanted to add a new activity to my already long list of extracurriculars, Go. For those of you unfamiliar Go is a turn-based game in which players place black and white stones trying to capture as much territory of the board as possible. Entering the “Go Salon” was an experience. Imagine my surprise when what first comes into view is some 20 Go boards laid out on tables crowding a medium sized room. Sitting at these tables is sea of greying hair. In short, everyone else is old. And when I say old, I precisely mean at a minimum of 40 years greater I am. Sensei starts me out on a smaller 9×9 board playing the Ishitori game. This is a game where each opponent is trying to capture at least one stone from the other. My first opponent is Tanaka-san who is quite the lovable Obaasan on the outside, but hidden behind the mask is a shrewd and cunning player. Another interesting detail is that everyone who comes is female. Either because most men are working on a Monday from 1-5 pm or another reason, the group I consistently play is female. In all honesty, interacting with the various Obaasan who come is somewhat difficult. They speak with rather strong Kansai-ben and seem to be content playing silently except for a comment about the weather every now and then. After about the 4th time coming I finally became an actual Go player—playing on a 19×19 not the small 9×9—and decide to join the Saturday group for a change. The demographic is much different, having men making up a third of the group and including ones whom were not much older than I was. The men were also generally talkative which added a welcome change. With the younger men, who were just learning the game, surprisingly I was treated with similar regard to that of a Senpai showing them the results. As a general point, the younger members of the group were all extremely polite. With the older men, after going beyond the weather pleasantries, we talked about the job outlook in japan and my future plans in relation to Japan. Every Monday—and sometimes Saturday—I enter an arena where, regardless of age, only the best survive. Overall this is perhaps the best “Go”-ing away present I could have hoped for!

2 thoughts on “Peaky Yuter: Go

  1. 囲碁サロンで学校では出会えない人たちと交流できてよかったですね。ユーターさんは囲碁サロンのメンバーとして受け入れられたと思いますか。どういう時にそう思いましたか。

    • 西俣先生、コメントしてくれてありがとうございました。実は囲碁サロンのメンバーとして受け入れられなかったが、囲碁サロンの相手として受け入れられたと思います。毎週、ちょっとだけ話したが、たくさんゲームをしましたから、相手はもっと近いです。いろいろな事を学んだので、来てよかったと思います。