Item No: #362700 The Game of Go: The National Game of Japan. Arthur Smith.
The Game of Go: The National Game of Japan
The Game of Go: The National Game of Japan
The Game of Go: The National Game of Japan
The Game of Go: The National Game of Japan

The Japanese American Influence on Go

The Game of Go: The National Game of Japan

Notes: The book that introduced the game of go to the English-speaking world. Smith's book drew heavily on the articles on the game by Oskar Korschelt, which were only published in a German journal of Far Eastern studies. Korschelt learned the game from Murase Shobo, the best player in the 1870s. Smith credits his knowledge of go to Mokichi Nakamura, a Japanese American immigrant in New York, and Jihei Hashiguchi, the editor of The Japan Current, in Seattle, Washington.

Smith's book has been reprinted and reissued many times in the century since it first appeared. Go, like chess, has relatively simple rules but is one of the most complex games to play. Like chess, training supercomputers to play go is a key test of AI capability.

About Mokichi Nakamura, Smith's primary Japanese-American informant, not much is known. He registered for the draft at the beginning of the First World War, at which time he was living and working as a butler on the Upper East Side of New York. He seems to have died in 1925. The Japanese-American contribution to the introduction of go in the US has largely gone unremarked.

[Color frontispiece of a samurai throwing a go board at an enemy], [4], xvi, 220, [2] pages. With an inserted photogravure of a Japanese woman and man playing go.

OCLC: 3811131, 504656513, 1227369000, 792787466, 638046099

Edition + Condition: First edition (first printing, with "Published, July, 1908" on the copyright page). This is a very good, spine-faded copy in a very good dust jacket, and it is inscribed by the author to the music critic for The New York Times, "William B. Chase, July 1908, with the author's compliments." The jacket has several tears and a bit of loss to the corners; its unlikely survival is due to its having been folded and inserted into the book, which has left old fold lines. That is why this copy has both a dust jacket and a faded red cloth spine. Still, rare in a jacket and especially signed.

Publication: New York: Moffat, Yard & Company, 1908.

Item No: #362700

Price: $1,500