Wang Runan 8P, the President of the Chinese Weiqi Association, last week asked the British to return the Weiqi Classic, also known as the Dunhuang Go Manual, to China. The manuscript, which dates back to the ninth century, is a copy of the earliest known manual of go, known as weiqi (or weichi) in China, where the game originated; the original manual is thought to have originated in the sixth century. It was taken from the “Library Cave” in Dunhuang, China in 1907 by Aurel Stein and is now in the collection of the British Library in London.
Wang was speaking at a press conference at the British Museum on September 5 to publicize British-Chinese Weiqi Cultural Exchange Event held on September 7 at the museum, hosted by the UK Research and Development Centre for Chinese Traditional Culture and the East Midland Youth Chinese Organisation, in cooperation with the British Go Association (BGA).
A partial English translation of the fascinating text of the Weiqi Classic, with notes, can be found in the Library’s database entry for the item.
Report by Tony Collman, British Correspondent for the E-Journal. Photos: BOTTOM LEFT: Wang Runan, by Tony Collman, displaying fan with calligraphy spelling out 10 principles of weiqi; TOP RIGHT: The Weiqi Classic (beginning), courtesy of the International Dunhuang Project, British Library. NOTE: this report has been updated to reflect that Wang Runan is President (not Vice Chairman) of the Chinese Weiqi Association.