Hayashi Monnyu (7p). Honinbo Shusaku (7p). W+ Murase Shuho (6d). Honinbo Shusaku (7d). B+R. Hayashi Monnyu (7d). – Go Games, Go Information and Go Study Tools. Honinbo Shusaku: ‘Invincible’ Go player wins a Google doodle. Search engine marks what would have been th birthday of lauded player of.

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He was nicknamed Invincible Shusaku because of his castle games performance.

Honinbo Shusaku: ‘Invincible’ Go player wins a Google doodle

Lord Asano, the daimyo of the region, heard of the child’s qualities. After playing a game with him, Asano became his patron, and allowed him to get lessons from his own personal trainer, Hoshin a player of professional level.

In JanuaryIto Showaone of the strongest players of honinvo day, visited Innoshima, and played a game with Shusaku. He was so impressed with the boy’s ability that he invited him to become a pupil of the Honinbo house in Edo.

On 28 NovemberShusaku was awarded a professional 1- dan diploma by Honinbo Jowa. The following year, during a one-year visit back home, he was awarded a yearly stipend by Lord Asano. Hhoninbo back in Edo in SeptemberShusaku was given the name ‘Shusaku’ and promoted to 2-dan. In and ’43, he was promoted to 3- and 4-dan respectively and started using the Shusaku-style opening. Inhe left for another stay at Innoshima, this time staying for eighteen months. In Julyduring his travel back to Edo, Shusaku met Gennan Insekiwho is said to have been of Meijin strength, but had the bad luck of living in a time when there were several other extremely strong players, especially Honinbo Shuwa.

In the first game of this encounter, Shusaku took two stones. Gennan, realizing that he had no chance of winning, left the game unfinished and started honinb new game with Shusaku taking Black. This was actually a great honor, because Gennan was indicating that Shusaku’s strength was much greater than his rank indicated. The first game on Black is Shusaku’s most famous and contains one of the most famous moves in go history: The result was a two-point win by Shusaku, despite an early game mistake in a new variant of the taisha joseki.

The game is considered a lifetime masterpiece for both players. They continued with three more games, of which one was left unfinished and the other two were also won by Shusaku. After the games, Shusaku headed back to Edo and upon his arrival honinob that he had been promoted to 5-dan. Back honibo Edo, Shusaku was asked to become the heir of Shuwa, who was shuaku become the next head of the Honinbo house.


But he refused, because of hkninbo obligations towards Lord Asano and his own family. After some mediation, the Asano clan relinquished its claim on Shusaku, allowing Shusaku to become Shuwa’s heir in It was also decided that he would marry Jowa’s daughter as part of the event.

In the meantime, Shusaku and Shuwa played a famous series of games in October to September Later that year, Josaku died, and Shksaku became head of the Honinbo house.

HoninbShusaku was officially recognized as Shuwa’s heir, and in the same year was promoted to 6-dan. Inhe took part in the castle games for the first time — as part of his rank and position now allowed.

In the years to come, he would play a total of 19 castle games, winning them all. He also received his promotion to 7-dan in these years — some say it happened inwhile others and most biographies list it as InShusaku played a famous sanjubango against Ota Yuzo. Although Honihbo was regarded by most players the second strongest player of the day, next to Shuwa, Ota was not so sure.

Shusaku had many problems with Ota, and only in managed to reach tagaisen against him. However, Shusaku proved the stronger player and continued to grow during the match. Only after games, and winning every game as Black except game 6 of match which Yuzo managed to make jigohe forced Ota to a senaisen handicap. After game 23, in which Ota managed to get a jigo with White, Ota discontinued the series.

Although spectator’s recognized Shusaku’s strength as the reason for victory rather than Ota’s weaknessthey also recognized Ota’s tenacity for having managed to keep Shusaku at tagaisen for so long. The match became one of the most celebrated in classical go, with games seventeen and twenty-three appearing in many anthologies.

In the years that followed, to the dismay of all go players, it happened in more than one year honinboo the castle games were not held. Shusaku did not play many games in these years, but one important match was a jubango against Murase Shuhowho was intended to become Shusaku’s heir.

Hon’inbō Shūsaku

Shuho, playing all games as Black, won the match with a score of Ina cholera epidemic broke out in Edo, and several disciples of the Honinbo house caught the disease. Shusaku involved himself in caring for the sick, which resulted in his catching the disease himself. On September 3, he died at the age of thirty-three.

The seeds of Shusaku’s ascension to Go Sage were first sown by Shusaku enthusiast Ishigaya Kosaku with the publication of Kogyoku YoinShusaku Koketsu Kifuand erection of a large, memorial gravestone.


In the books Ishigaya gave positive accounts of Shusaku’s character and started using the term Go Sage when referring to him. Inthe publication of Zain Danso revealed a negatively biased account of Honinbo Jowa’s intrigues towards securing the position of Meijin Hhoninbotarnishing Jowa’s reputation. The stew was allowed to simmer untilwhen post-war Japan began looking back at characters who could be lifted-up to embody the traditional Japanese ideals.

This notion carried through into the go world as well. So when the volume publication of the castle games see: Oshiro Gofu was published reappraisal of Shusaku and Jowa could already be seen, particularly in the strong opinions of one editor, Segoe Kensaku. Although Shusakk playing strength could hold up, his character could not.

But Shusaku’s playing strength and character, under the auspices of Ishigaya’s glowing accounts and Segoe’s opinions, could. With his impressive castle game shuaku, famous sogoand description of him as “the perfect filial son and pupil,” Shusaku was lifted up to Go Sage.

The stories of Jowa’s deviousness and Shusaku’s filial piety have been replayed many times both as fact and as popular fiction. But they are about human attributes, not go. Today, Shusaku’s reputation is still somewhat inflated in the West, where most readers have access only to a limited number of texts.

Shusaku at Sensei’s Library

In Japan, where the go public has access to much more literature, a more objective balance has been struck. I would guess that the parents of any budding professional would love him to grow up like Shusaku, a perfect filial son and pupil. He himself would probably love to play like Jowa. There are games given in the book Complete Games of Shusakubut two are rengo and 38 are unfinished games. The following stats are from the remaining games where the results were clear.

Despite a shaky opening, Shusaku claws his way back into the match. Move tips the balance, occupying the central point for the attack and defence of the shusamu groups, expanding Black’s moyo on top, limiting White’s influence honinvo the right, and providing aji to reduce White’s territory on the left.

Honinbo Shusaku v Ota Yuzo,game match, Game After a new opening strategy and several exquisitely timed moves Shusaku comes out ahead. Up toShusaku’s honinb style has honlnbo removed Black’s chances of catching up. Shusaku last edited by Edit page Discuss page 3.