Page:Smith - The game of go.djvu/34

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
10
THE GAME OF GO

that the custom of the 'O shiro Go' should cease." Having said this, he raised himself from his seat. At this moment the court officers announced the coming of the Shogun, and the noblemen who had assembled to see the contest, surprised and confused by the turn affairs had taken, earnestly persuaded Honinbo to reseat himself and continue the game. This he obstinately refused to do, and endeavored to leave the imperial chamber. Prince Matsudaira, taken aback, scarcely knew what to do. However, he kotowed to Honinbo and, profusely apologizing, besought the offended master to finish the contest. Honinbo Sanyetsu was appeased, and resumed his seat at the board, and both players, aroused by the incident, exerted every effort to achieve victory. Honinbo Sanyetsu won, whereupon the Prince of Higo was greatly humiliated. Since then the name of Sanyetsu has always been revered as one of the greatest of the Honinbo family.

In the degenerate days toward the end of the Tokugawa Dynasty the "Go zen Go" became a mere farce, and the games were all played through and studied out beforehand, in order that the ceremony in court might not last too long. The custom was, however, maintained until the fall of the Shogunate in 1868.

Honinbo Sansha established at the time of the foundation of the Academy a method of classifying the players by giving them degrees, which still exists, although no longer under the authority of the State. When a man attained to a certain measure of skill in the game he received the title "Shodan," or, of the first degree. The still stronger players were arranged as "Nidan," "Sandan," "Yodan," etc., or of the second, third, and fourth degrees. The high-