Yuriko Miyake came later than usual to the Seattle Go Center on Tuesday, June 21, because it was her birthday — her 90th. Yuriko also came late to playing go — she only started playing about 10 years ago. She first started by playing Pair Go with her husband Kinju Miyake, one of the founding directors of the Seattle Go Center. After her husband died in 2008, she became more serious about go, both as a mental discipline and as a way to keep in touch with go playing friends. She is now a regular on Tuesday afternoons, where she plays with a group that mostly speaks Japanese, but also includes players whose first language is English or French.
A calm and resourceful woman, Yuriko moved with her husband and family from Sapporo, Japan to Sitka, Alaska in 1957, two years before Alaska statehood. Her husband Kinju was a forester for Alaska Lumber and Pulp. They later moved to Oregon, and then retired to the Seattle area. She is now a double digit kyu player who is within handicapping range of many of the Go Center players. She also plays teaching games with beginners, giving them nine stones. She studies go books, and comes to many of the Center’s tournaments. A reliable volunteer, she helps keep the Go Center organized, and helps at outreach events such as the Center’s table at the Bon Odori festival. We are very proud of Yuriko, and think she is an excellent example for our younger beginners who are only 60 or 70 years old.
Report and photo by Brian Allen, Seattle Go Center Manager.