Page:Smith - The game of go.djvu/32

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8
THE GAME OF GO

tirely to the game, and either found positions as players at the court of a daimio, or traveled through the country (like the poets and swordsmen of that period), playing the game and giving instruction in its mysteries as they found opportunity. If they came to a place which pleased them, they often let their years of wandering come to an end and remained there, making their living as teachers of the game.

At the time of the founding of the Academy, besides Honinbo, the previously mentioned masters, Hayashi, Inouye, and Yasui, were installed as professors. For some reason, Nakamura, who is mentioned above as one of the contemporaries of Honinbo, did not appear at the Academy. Each of the four masters above named founded his school or method of play independently of the others, and the custom existed that each teacher adopted his best pupil as a son, and thus had a successor at his death; so the teachers in the Academy were always named Honinbo, Inouye, Hayashi, and Yasui. (Lovers of Japanese prints are already familiar with this continued similarity of names.)

The best players of the Academy had to appear every year before the Shogun and play for his amusement. This ceremony was called “Go zen Go,” which means “playing the game in the august presence,” or “O shiro Go,” “Shiro” meaning “the honorable palace,” and the masters of the game entered these contests with the same determination that was displayed by the samurai on the field of battle.

An anecdote has come down to us from the reign of the third Shogun, Tokugawa Iyemitsu, showing how highly the Go masters regarded their art. At that time Yasui Sanchi was “Meijin,” which, as we shall see in a moment, meant the highest rank in the Go world, while Honinbo