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The Master of Go Paperback – May 28, 1996
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Top Customer Reviews
Instead, because this is Kawabata, we have an intimate portrait of three people, the two players and the author himself, basic and alive and honest human beings. Of course, there is a bit of metaphor and conclusions can be drawn, but ultimately the three people do not require any grandeur beyond there immediate status as human beings. It is enough.
The Master of Go himself, the highest available rank in the official Go association, is a portrait of obsession and dedication. He is only comfortable playing games, and even amidst his failing health and the demands of his retirement challenge, he ensnares anyone around him in any game possible, be in Mah Jong or Billiards. His opponent, a young yet high ranking challenger, has fought his way through a year-long tournament for the honor of being the opponent in the Master's final match. High strung, and with health issues of his own, he brings everything he has to defeat the Master in his last game. The author, a newspaper reporter assigned to cover the match which is being sponsored by his paper, unable to penetrate the minds of the two players, lays open his own feelings and interpretations while retaining a newspaperman's eye for reporting facts rather than speculation.Read more ›
The account given by Kawabata of the contestants, the contest, and the context is sensitive and beautifully rendered. He provides a wonderful commentary on events as they unfold over the course of the six months of the game.
Just as in the game of Go itself, there are patterns within patterns and many levels of complexity in the narrative. For example, although the rules under which the game is conducted have been agreed beforehand there is a continual bargaining and negotiation between the players as the game progresses over how to run the game itself in the light of the Master's failing health and the Challenger's own health problems. This forms an alternative contest within a contest where dignity and honor are at stake with both contestants offering to forfeit the game at different times as a ploy to get their own way.
Kawabata provides many poignant touches of descriptive color which punctuate the story of the game. Anyone familiar with haiku poetry will recognize immediately the inspiration behind these short, exquisitely-crafted interludes.
If the book was simply an account of a game of Go it would be of limited interest. What makes the book so compelling is to degree to which the culture and mores of Go are intimately intertwined with the culture and mores of Japan at a critical moment of Japan's history and evolution.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Book came to me in great quality, cover and pages are like new. Very pleasedPublished 5 months ago by Castle Leonard
i guess this is a journalism story turned into a novel, but not too intriguing. you don't have to understand the game Go in order to enjoy the portrait of the old master of Go,... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Thomas A. Dengler
Even though "The Go Master" is a story of Shusei Mejin's last game between Shusei Mejin and Otake. However, I think, in this book, the story line is a mixture of Shusei Meijin vs... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Steve Sun
Engaging and enthralling. He makes you feel for the people involved in the story. This book is a lot more journalistic and driven by action. Read morePublished 20 months ago by pineywoods85
I love go and was looking forward to reading a book about go that even non players liked :)
However, I found the book to be rather boring. Read more
Written in the early days of WWII, this autumnal biography is based upon a real person. The Master, who always plays white and never loses, is regarded as superhuman and an emblem... Read morePublished on May 11, 2014 by Jeffrey Huntington
I got this book a couple of years ago. I just love it. I am happy to see Kindle finaly got it. Being a lover of the game of Go, or igo as it is known in Japan, I really get into... Read morePublished on March 16, 2014 by eric v. c. carlson