The Japanese Culture Center is excited to introduce the oldest board game in the world that is very popular in Japan. This wonderful game is GO 碁席. It is easy to learn yet challenging enough that it will provide a lifetime of enjoyment. GO helps kids with Math skills, Seniors with brain plasticity and many more ways to improve various life skills.
The Japanese Culture Center will be offering a monthly club meeting in conjunction with the Chicago/Midway GO Club. The Club will be meeting on the Second Sunday of each month from 1-3pm in person at the Japanese Culture Center. Cost: Donations $5 suggested.
About the Game
Go may very well be the oldest board game in the world. Originally from China, more than 2,500 years ago, Go is also known as “Weiqi”, “Wei Chi”, “Igo”, and “Baduk” in different parts of the world. With 40 million players, it’s incredibly popular in Asia and is now beginning to grow in popularity in the western world as well.
Players take turns playing their stones (either white or black) on the intersecting lines on the board, seeking to surround as much territory as they can with their stones to score points. But if one player uses his stones to completely surround one of his opponent’s group of stones, then he can kill that group and remove them from the board – taking them prisoner for extra points! Thus, players are continually having to strike a balance between offense and defense and between fighting for survival and staking out new, unclaimed territory. Go is unique in that it features the simplest rules of any board game in the world – but the gameplay gives rise to a depth of strategy that is unparalleled by any other!
Here are a few interesting facts about Go:
• While the most advanced computers can beat human grandmasters in Chess, they struggle to beat intermediate human players in Go and are unable to beat veteran professional players.
• The number of possible games of Go far exceeds the number of atoms in the observable universe.
• In Korea, there are TV networks that broadcast programs about Go 24 hours a day – live games with commentary, game reviews, and strategy lessons. Go and “Baduk TV” are to Koreans what sports and “ESPN” are to Americans!
• Atari, the famous video game company, was named after a term in Go.
About the instructor
Shehan Sensei is the resident Haiku poet at the Japanese Culture Center – 日本文化会館, has been published world wide including Haiku International, Haiku Society of America, Modern Haiku, and spoken on Japanese Television on Haiku. Sensei runs Kumanoko Arts Foundation and teaches GO for the Japanese Culture center as well. In addition to his Arts, Sensei is also the leader of the Chicago Keikokai of Meifu Shinkage Ryu style of ShurikenJutsu, Religious Scholar from Purdue University, Buddhist Lay Chaplain at the local Veterans Administration Hospital and Lay Priest ordained by Bright Dawn, a Jodo Shinshu organization and involved with Midwest Buddhist Temple of Chicago.