American Go E-Journal

The Nakazono Fan Club’s Road Trip to Guangzhou

Wednesday May 16, 2012

Japan’s player, Seizoh Nakazono 8d, brought something unique to the World Amateur Go Championships: his own cheering section. The group of a dozen supporters traveled to Guangzhou specifically to support Nakazono, who was not only their country’s representative but a fellow graduate of the Kumamoto high school in Kyushu, Japan’s third-largest island. E-Journal readers may also recall him from our report on a visit a few years ago to his Sunshine Go Club in Tokyo. The go-playing Kumamoto graduates in Tokyo number about 40, Shinji Ohmura told the E-Journal on Wednesday, and are regulars at the Sunshine Go Club, where they play in tournaments against each other and against graduates of other schools. High school was a long time ago for the group, who are in their 60s and 70s now, but go has kept them together over the years and, for the Guangzhou group, the miles as well. They faithfully showed up every day at the playing venue, intently following their classmate’s every play. “We’re not go fans,” Shinji, a 62-year-old 3-dan, said, “just fans of Mr. Nakazono.”
– Chris Garlock; photo: the Nakazono fan club watches the Round 4 match between Japan’s Seizoh Nakazono and Yuan Zhou of the United States; photo by John Pinkerton