Yasunari Kawabata, The Master of Go

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Yasunari Kawabata, The Master of Go

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1Cynfelyn
dec 25, 2015, 4:53pm

It's half a life time since I read Edward G. Seidensticker's translation of Yasunari Kawabata's The Master of Go - I've just found a 1987 dance card in the back of my copy! - but I do remember enjoying it immensely. It was probably a combination of factors: following the development of a single game of Go (my school chess club had a hard core who also played Go, and Diplomacy); an interest in the Japanese aesthetic; and, perhaps strangest of all to non-LTers, a dedication to the Penguin Classics, including the occasional foray into Penguin Modern Classics.

It definitely deserves a re-read, but in the meantime I wonder whether anyone has any recommendations for further reading. Novels or non-fiction with Go as a thread? Other works by Kawabata? Although Wikipedia says that The Master of Go "is in severe contrast to his other works", so perhaps there is nothing similar. Anything stand-out in Seidensticker's other translations, or in his own works?

There are over 4000 books tagged "Go" on LT, http://www.librarything.com/tag/go, but hardly surprisingly they mostly - with the excepton of "Hikaru no Go" - seem to be Go books.

2defaults
Redigerat: dec 26, 2015, 6:54am

I'm five years out of the loop with the game and any new literature that may have appeared in that time, but First Kyu is one I remember being cited as a runner-up to the Kawabata. I never read it myself.

In the non-fiction side, a rare case of an English translation of a Japanese work that isn't just technical exercises is the long-out-of-print The Treasure Chest Enigma (see here).

Here's a pretty comprehensive list:
http://senseis.xmp.net/?GoBooks
http://senseis.xmp.net/?Literature

edit: I forgot The Go Companion by John Fairbairn. He's the #1 writing Western expert on go history and culture.

3heathrel
dec 30, 2015, 2:44am

I loved reading Kawabata's novels at about the same time that it sounds like you were reading The Master of Go, and I think Seidensticker was doing all the definitive translations at the time. But that's a while ago. I would love to re-read A Thousand Cranes and The Sound of the Mountain.

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