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. 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.
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. 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? View all 24 comments. Two stones One game 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. Kitano Minora. Abiding the culture of literary fiction, Kawabata confers fabricated identities to the players as well as to himself Mr. Uragami in this Two stones Uragami in this epic struggle that spans over the period of nearly six months. It is not what might be called a game of moves, as chess and checkers 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.
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. 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. 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. Is the birth of nostalgia, the loneliness of change more agonizing than physical death? Territory Go is fierce; it is a territorial game. 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. 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?
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? 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.
But he the Master was always lonely. Like an isolated stone that becomes less powerful, did the seclusion of his artistic prowess in the modern world made him defenseless? 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.
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 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. 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. 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. 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? 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. View all 31 comments. Jan 01, Riku Sayuj rated it really liked it Shelves: foriegn-lit , translated , r-r-rs.
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.
Mar 05, notgettingenough rated it it was amazing Shelves: modern-lit , japanese , games. With no such intention in mind, I rather fell out of the frying pan on this one. I had to get away from Yourcenar and a glance at the shelves made me think nothing could be further from Hadrian than a book about Go.
View all 9 comments. Shelves: character-studies , go , literary , owned , japan , japanese-literature. 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 How does a book about a go game win the Nobel Prize for Literature? 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 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 , not 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. 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.
The author, Yasunari Kawabata, who penned this novel years after he wrote serialized journ 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 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. A masterpiece, perhaps? 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.
View all 5 comments. Aug 02, Smiley rated it liked it Shelves: fiction , japan. 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, in Tokyo to December 4 in Ito p. 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 , the last play by his opponent.
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. 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.
Moreover, there're two sets of small numbered stones: Black 1, Black 3, Black, Black for Otake vs. White 2, White 4, White White for the Master. We can see how they start the decisive match on the chess-like Go board denoted by lines row and letters A-T across. There, Otake's started at R while the Master's followed at R-4 p. I came across a remark stating that "the first player has seven chances in ten of winning" p. I think this is a good remark from Go experts that need pondering and applying from both the challenger and the master.
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 , that is, I can't find Black and B and C Certainly, the Master rightly deserves our respects for his graceful, heroic final mission. 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.
View all 11 comments. That was edifying. 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 eagerl YouTube.
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. It's supposed to be a heartfelt exploration of old values vs. 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. 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 tradi This is my first meeting with Kawabata - and I believe is not the last. 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. Jan 20, Tyler Jones rated it really liked it Shelves: japanese-literature.
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 One sign of a master writer is the ability to match subject and style. 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. 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. Feb 18, Bob Newman rated it really liked it Shelves: japanese-literature. 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. 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. Otake represents the new, the ambitious, the unrefined; the old master all that was vanishing, all that Kawabata mourned.
If this sounds interesting, give it a try. You definitely won't find another novel like it! Kawabata certainly deserved the Nobel Prize. View 2 comments. Feb 17, Steven rated it liked it Shelves: literature , books-i-own , japanese , kawabata. Dec 01, Tsung rated it liked it. 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. It was the end of an era. It was not just This is probably not the best novel to get started on Kawabata. 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. Feb 06, Philippe Malzieu rated it it was amazing. The good books about the game are rare. Browse all BookRags Study Guides. All rights reserved.
Toggle navigation. Sign Up. Sign In. Get The Master of Go from Amazon. View the Study Pack. View the Lesson Plans. Plot Summary. Chapters Free Quiz. Topics for Discussion. Snow Country. This Study Guide consists of approximately 28 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Master of Go. Print Word PDF. This section contains words approx. Themes Style Quotes. View a FREE sample.
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|Watch in a lonely place online free||Uragami describes the great deliberateness with which each player decides on his next play, sometimes taking several hours to determine a move. The film, which premiered at the 44th New York Film Festivalfocuses on the life of this extraordinary player from his meteoric rise as a child prodigy to fame and fortune as a revolutionary strategic thinker, as well as the tumultuous global conflicts between his homeland and his adopted nation. You just learn that the Master was arbitrary and Otake was There were fourteen sessions. Other editions.|
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|The birthday of the infanta by oscar wilde||More Details The narrator is an observing reporter. View all 31 comments. 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 is challenged by a newcomer, Otake who is much younger than him.|
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|Buy lenovo thinkpad t450||Raymond weil tango 300 black is considered the greatest Go player of the 20th century, his talents bringing him from his native China to a professional career in Japan when he was only a teenager. Too rule-bound? 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. And in his fictional chronicle of a match played between a revered and heretofore invincible Master and a younger and more modern challenger, Yasunari Kaw Go is a game of strategy in which two players attempt to surround each other's black or white stones. The opening scene is shot in Odawara? The opponents were the grand master, Shusai, and Otake, a younger professional challenger.|
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Despite this, the film ends nostalgically in the golden room of Go. Wu Qingyuan is played by Taiwanese actor Chang Chen. Chang was nominated for the Golden Horse Award for best actor for his portrayal. The real Wu Qingyuan makes a short cameo appearance in the film's prologue.
The screenplay was written by Ah Cheng. Scott of The New York Times called The Go Master "a stately and respectful biopic", as well as "deliberate and contemplative rather than dramatic or psychologically probing" and "gorgeously shot". From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Release date. September 27, New York Film Festival. Running time. The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on Retrieved The New York Times. Films directed by Tian Zhuangzhuang.
Handicaps Komi Rules. AlphaGo vs. Fan Hui AlphaGo vs. Ke Jie AlphaGo vs. Go portal Category. Hidden categories: Articles with short description Short description is different from Wikidata Template film date with 1 release date Articles containing Japanese-language text Articles containing simplified Chinese-language text Articles containing traditional Chinese-language text.
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