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Go Wizardry

All About the Many Aspects of Go
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Everyday Go

0221

The big news in Japan these days is the Coronavirus. Americans on a luxury cruise on the Diamond Princess in the western part of Japan were evacuated to the United States a few days ago in order to deal with this. With the death toll passing 2,000 according to reports from China, it is encouraging to hear that efforts are being taken to limit the spread of the disease.

I was sick with what I thought was the flu a few months ago. I am generally in very good health, so I was surprised that I remained sick in bed for a full week. Usually an illness like the flu lasts only a day for me. So for it to persist for a full seven days is unusual. Now I am wondering if it was not this more virulent Coronavirus that I was afflicted with. At least now I can consider that I have developed some sort of immunity and do not have to worry about suffering further in the future.

I am sorry that others are not so lucky. Especially in China, where there are still reports every day of new deaths, it seems that it will still be some time before the outbreak is under control. It is a shame that more effective preventative measures are not being adopted in regards to flu conditions that develop there every year around this time.

We have a tendency to think that science has a panoply of resources to deal with every conceivable disease, but that is not the case. The fact that the common cold is still very much with us proves that we have far to go before such afflictions are eliminated. Here in Japan it is increasingly common to see people wearing face masks to avoid infection.

Changing the topic, how about the weather? I do not know what the temperature is in the reader’s part of the world, but today in Tokyo the temperature reached 16.8 degrees Celsius. That is about 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

On the network news this has been described as a "heat wave." Now, I am sitting in my apartment and I am grateful that the temperature is no longer dipping to -2 degrees Celsius these days, but I hardly consider temperatures in the Fahrenheit 60s a "heat wave." Perhaps when I have lived in Japan longer my perspective will change.

Then there is the matter of work. I am not looking for work and have no intention to do so. But I work all the time. That is just a fact of life. I am a professional Japanese interpreter/translator and as such my work is highly valued. I am now working on an FDA translation. And yes, I translate both from Japanese to English and English to Japanese. Sometimes I would like to ask professional colleagues I meet if they would like to step out into the workplace and see what demand there is for their own skills. Of course, professional courtesy rules that out, but the fact remains that the marketplace is a hard taskmaster. Surviving requires highly honed skills.

I have produced 44 books over the years. Some are good, some not so good. But please tell me who has done better. I produce go books that I think will inspire players to reach new heights. That is my aim.

When my time is past and it is all over, I want people to say, "I want to read that go book that he published. I want to get better at go by reading his book." That is why I write and publish go books.

I do not want my books to just sit on a shelf in a library. I want them to be bought from someone who makes a living selling go books, keeping the marketplace of go alive. I have been selling my go books for thirty years this way and I hope it continues into the future.

Of course, the play is the thing (apologies to Shakespeare). Go tournaments are the most important way to propagate the game. Here in Japan there are all sorts of go tournaments and festivals held year round, but it is gratifying to consider that fans in the United States and all around the globe also organize tournaments. It is great that some of these have become perennial events, with substantial backing. Years ago, when go was first becoming established in the West, there were no such events held. Hard to believe, but to me it seems like that was just yesterday…

It is sad that companies selling go books and equipment are disappearing. Years ago one of my publishers complained that there were other companies producing go books. He thought that they were taking away from his sales. I told him that I welcome others into the field. Competition can only increase interest in go.

What would that publisher say now? Not much, since his own company is one of those that has folded due to flagging interest in go. And that is vital. Why has this happened?

Interest in go worldwide has decreased for the past few years. Why? One can only speculate, but it seems clear that the failure to attract younger people is a prime cause. Go is an intellectual pursuit and younger people today seem to prefer instant gratification that does not require any output of thought. And there are any number of sources to fulfill that desire.

How about www.GoWizardry.com? Will we succumb to the same syndrome? Not likely. We are committed to the dissemination of high quality go material in many formats. We ask that visitors to our site check out products that we offer for sale from time to time and patronize us so as to support the work that we do promoting the game of go.

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