Page:Smith - The game of go.djvu/27

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The esteem in which players were held in the old Chinese times is also shown by the titles with which they were honored; to wit, “Kisei” or “Ki Shing,” from “Ki,” meaning Go, and “Sei,” a holy man, and “Shing,” magician or sage.

In the time of the Tang Dynasty (618–906 A.D.), and again during the Sung Dynasty (960–1126 A.D.), the first books about Go were written. The game then flourished in China, and there were then many distinguished players in that country.

According to the Japanese reckoning of time, Go was introduced into Japan in the period Tern pyo, during the reign of the emperor Shomu, which according to the Chinese records was the thirteenth year of the period Tien Tao, and during the reign of the emperor Huan Tsung. According to our calendar this would be about the year 735 A.D.

A man otherwise well known in the history of Japan, Kibi Daijin, was sent as an envoy to China in that year, and it is said that he brought the game back with him to Japan.

Go may have been known in Japan before that date, but at any rate it must have been known about this time, for in the seventh month of the tenth year of the period Tem pyo (A.D. 738), we are told that a Japanese nobleman named Kumoshi was playing Go with another nobleman named Adzumabito, and that in a quarrel resulting from the game Kumoshi killed Adzumabito with his sword.

On its introduction into Japan a new era opened in the development of the game, but at first it spread very slowly, and it is mentioned a hundred years later that the