Page:Smith - The game of go.djvu/41

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17
HISTORY OF THE GAME

longer than twenty-four hours without interruption. The Hoyensha school also recognized the degree “Inaka Shodan,” which means the “first degree in the country,” and is allowed to a class of players who are regarded as entitled to the first degree in their native town, but who are generally undeceived when they meet the recognized “Shodan” players of the metropolis.

While in Japan Go has attained such a high development, largely through the help of the government, as has been shown, it seems to be decadent in its motherland of China. The Japanese players assure us that there is no player in China equal to a Japanese player of the first degree. In Korea also the game is played, but the skill there attained is also immensely below the Japanese standard.

Having now given an idea of the importance of the game in the eyes of the Japanese, and the length of time it has been played, we will proceed to a description of the board and stones, and then take up the details of the play.