Page:Smith - The game of go.djvu/40

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16
THE GAME OF GO

day it is fostered with as much zeal as in the olden times.

Most of the higher officials of the government, and also the officers in the army and navy, are skilled players. The great daily newspapers of the capitals have a Go department, just as some of our periodicals have a department devoted to Chess, and the game is very much played at the hot springs and health resorts, and clubs, and teachers of the art are found in all of the larger cities. Go has always retained something of its early aristocratic character, and in fact, it is still regarded as necessary for a man of refinement to possess a certain skill at the game.

During the recent Russo-Japanese War the strategy employed by the Japanese commanders certainly suggested the methods of play used in the game of Go. Whether this was an accidental resemblance or not I cannot say. At Liao Yang it seemed as if Marshal Oyama had got three of the necessary stones advantageously placed, but the Russians escaped before the fourth could be moved into position. At the final battle of Mukden the enveloping strategy characteristic of the game was carried out with still greater success.

At the present time the division into the four schools of Honinbo, Inouye. Hayashi, and Yasui, no longer exists, and Go players are divided into the schools of Honinbo and Hoyensha. This latter school was established about the year 1880 by Murase Shuho, to whom reference has already been made.

The Honinbo school is the successor of the old Academy, while the new school has made one or two innovations, one of the most fortunate being a rule that no game shall last