Monday October 1, 2012
Wayne Nelson has just sent us a translation of Jorge Luis Borges’ wonderful poem about go. We’ve run it before but it’s so lovely that, like all great poetry, it bears repetition. Other than this poem, we don’t know anything about Borges’ connection to go, e.g. where he learned, whether he attended a club, or if he mentions it in other writings; if anyone has information along these lines, please send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today, the 9th of September 1978,
I had in the palm of my hand a small disk
of the 361 that are required
for the astrological game of Go,
that other chess of the Orient.
It is more ancient than the most ancient writing
and the board is a map of the universe.
Its black and white variations
In it men can lose themselves
as in love and in the day.
Today, the 9th of September 1978,
I, who am ignorant of so many things,
know that I am ignorant of one more,
and I thank my Muses for
this revelation of a labyrinth
that never will be mine.
- by Jorge Luis Borges; translated by Wayne Nelson
Hoy, 9 de septiembre de 1978,
tuve en la palma de la mano un pequeño disco
de los trescientos sesenta y uno que se requieren
para el juego astrológico del go,
ese otro ajedrez del Oriente.
Es más antiguo que la más antigua escritura
y el tablero es un mapa del universo.
Sus variaciones negras y blancas
agotarán el tiempo.
En él pueden perderse los hombres
como en el amor y en el día.
Hoy, 9 de septiembre de 1978,
yo, que soy ignorante de tantas cosas,
sé que ignoro una más,
y agradezco a mis númenes.
esta revelación de un laberinto
que nunca será mío.
- photo by Martin Chrz
Monday September 24, 2012
Go makes an appearance in Episode 24 of in an anime about soccer called Area no Kishi (The Knight in the Area). Thanks to EJ reader Benjamin Meoz who sent this in.
Monday September 17, 2012
Gosei Sentai Dairanger which he describes as “Japanese Power Rangers with a much darker look.” In the show, a boy named akomaru is in trouble with a big guy named Gouma. “In the beginning of the scene we see the edge of a wooden floor goban with very dark go bowls. Later in the scene you can see Gouma placing stones on the board.” This is Albert’s second go spotting – his previous one was Bruce Lee and Go 9/25/2011 – if you spot go, be sure to let us know at email@example.com!
Tuesday September 4, 2012
“A friend that has a group in Facebook “Gakko No Go” discovered some characters in the Billy Bat manga playing go,” reports Siddhartha Avila. Billy Batt is a thriller manga series written by Naoki Urasawa and Takashi Nagasaki and illustrated by Urasawa. The story is set in 1949 and follows Japanese-American comic book artist Kevin Yamagata as he draws the popular detective series “Billy Bat”. When he learns he may have unconsciously copied the character from an image he saw while serving in occupied Japan, he returns to Japan to get permission to use Billy Bat from its original creator. Upon arriving there, however, he becomes embroiled in a web of murder, cover-ups, and prophecy that all leads back to Billy Bat.
Friday July 6, 2012
Go makes an appearance in Allegra Goodman ’s 2006 novel Intuition, reports Debbie Siemon. “After the author introduces a couple of secondary characters as ‘geniuses,’ they show up at a picnic (at Walden Pond, no less),” says Siemon. The reference, on page 164, reads “Next to the drinks cooler, Jacob and Aaron sat playing Go on towels in the sand.” The novel is “an intricate mystery and a rich human drama set in the high-stakes atmosphere of a prestigious research institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.”
Spotted go somewhere? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Saturday March 3, 2012
“In the latest issue of Newsweek there is a mention of go,” reports San Diego Go Club President Ted Terpstra. A sidebar to “Why Stephen Breyer and Other Power Players Love Bridge” lists games that celebs play, including bridge, scrabble backgammon, go and chess. Actor Omar Sharif (right) was so successful a bridge player “that he built a bridge empire, writing a column on the game for the Chicago Tribune and launching the traveling Omar Sharif Bridge Circus,” the article reports. Under go, Newsweek notes that “The ancient Chinese board game ensnared Rod Stewart, Paul Giamatti, and Ursula K. Le Guin.” photo courtesy Central Press-Getty Images
Monday December 26, 2011
A scene featuring 3-dimensional go was spotted in Andromeda, the Canadian-American science fiction television series based on unused material by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, which ran from 2000 to 2005. “In the Double Helix episode there’s a scene where the captain is playing (starting at 5:27), not tri-level chess like Spock and Kirk, but rather tri-level go and they even refer to it as ‘go,’” reports Fr. Mark Lichtenstein of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Camp Hill, PA. “The game (portrayed) doesn’t look like a real game though. Not that tri-level go is a normal variant like 9×9 or 13×13.” There’s a last glimpse of the game in the first seconds of this clip as well.
Sunday November 13, 2011
Neal Stephenson’s new novel Reamde has a reference to go, reports Ken Parel-Sewell. “On an iPad in portrait mode, the reference starts on page 271. The section starts with the words ‘Like any Russian, Sokolov enjoyed a game of chess.’ The next paragraph then starts talking about go. ‘He had heard somewhere, though, that mathematically speaking, the game of Go was more difficult than chess…’ It goes on to use go as a metaphor for a particularly difficult situation this character has found himself in. It goes on for a few paragraphs. Check it out.” Stephenson’s speculative fiction novel, set in the present day, centers on the plight of a hostage and the ensuing efforts of family and new acquaintances to rescue her as various captors drag her about the globe. Topics covered range from online activities including gold farming and social networking to the criminal methods of the Russian Mafia and Islamic terrorists, according to Wikipedia’s post.
Saturday October 22, 2011
Les Lanphear reports that he spotted go in the 2010 China-Hong Hong epic mystery film “Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame.” “Toward the end of the movie there is a go board that seems to have 19 lines and colored pieces on the board,” says Lanphear. “The colored pieces seemed to be in the shape of chocolate kisses and in a translucent colored substance. One of the general’s was playing with someone. It was too short to determine if the setup was real or not.” Tsui Hark directed the fictional account of Di Renjie, one of the most celebrated officials of the Tang Dynasty and the basis for the character of Judge Dee, made famous in the West by Robert van Gulik, who wrote 17 new Judge Dee mysteries between 1946 and 1967.
Sunday September 25, 2011
E-Journal reader Michael Albert spotted go in Fist of Fury (aka The Chinese Connection), the 1972 Hong Kong martial arts film starring Bruce Lee in his second major film. “When a scene came up with a go board in it, I was a little skeptical at first,” says Albert, “but then after reviewing the scene a couple times — and watching to go board get thrown at someone’s face — I realized that I was seeing the real deal. A previous scene shows to people placing stones on the board. I can’t tell you if they were playing a real game or just placing random stones on the board.”