American Go E-Journal

NAKAYAMA’S QUIET FAREWELL

Wednesday May 26, 2010

It was a wet afternoon in Tokyo on May 23 when a quiet memorial service was held for the beloved and irrepressible Nakayama Noriyuki-sensei. As the hall at the Okura Hotel filled with Nakayama’s friends, there was time to contemplate the oversize photos showing Nakayama watching the legendary Go Seigen play tournament games. Nakayama’s appearance had not changed much over the years. There was no mistaking the impish smile, the shock of hair. Nakayama’s poetry was also displayed, with each stanza introducing another archaic, almost forgotten character of the ancient Japanese alphabet. In the next room, we paid our respects to Nakayama’s family and to Nakayama while a priest intoned the sutras before Nakayama’s photo, framed in an array of blue and white flowers. We gathered for a meal, after which several people spoke, including Otake Hideo 9P. Takemiya Masaki 9P spoke of Nakayama’s many books and how he had been the choice of so many top go professionals as their ghost writer because of his comprehensive knowledge of go as well as his skillful writing. Michael Redmond 9P also spoke, noting that Nakayama had been very popular in the United States, where he was a frequent and longtime visitor at the annual U.S. Go Congress. Nakayama touched many of us with his wit and wisdom, and the memorial service captured the quiet stillness that grounded both.
- None Redmond, special correspondent for the E-Journal; photo of Nakayama at the 2007 U.S. Go Congress by Chris Garlock

Categories: World
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