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 Post subject: Takagi Shoichi query
Post #1 Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2024 9:51 am 
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Takagi Shoichi, "Go-grandson" of Nakagawa Kamesaburo II, has a quirky entrance in his English bios (all of them seem to have the same origin). It's mentioned that he was a "noted stylist".

What's that supposed to mean? If it refers to his style, I don't see how that helps any. If it refers to hair styles... come on... we have Cho Chikun.

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 Post subject: Re: Takagi Shoichi query
Post #2 Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2024 2:54 am 
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I suspect it means that his technique was admired by other professionals - I see he won a Kido prize for Technique.

I think Ishida Akira (author of "Attack and Defence") is another player whose technique was/is much admired by other professionals, and won the Technique prize four times. (I remember hearing that Ishida Akira was sometimes jokingly referred to in the Professional Go world as 'the strong Ishida' (referencing multiple title winner Ishida Yoshio).

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 Post subject: Re: Takagi Shoichi query
Post #3 Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2024 8:11 am 
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A while ago, translators of Japanese go materials into English used to translate suji as style. Some players, usually amateurs, are said to have a crude or brutish way of playing. Some amateur players fight all over the place, attaching and invading, and often win because their opponents don't understand how to handle that style (there's that word again). Some other words describing style might be elegance, efficiency, powerful, clumsy, greedy, etc. Style also applies to the player's attitude to the game. There are stories about players such as Otake Hideo who resigned a game when he was ahead because he was disgusted with his own play. Another pro player, can't recall the name, said playing well is more important than winning.

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 Post subject: Re: Takagi Shoichi query
Post #4 Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2024 9:14 am 
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I don't recall Takagi ever being referred to by a Japanese word that could be rendered as 'stylist' in English. There have been many ways in which he has been 'noted' of course. In particular, he was the author or editor of quite a lot of important books, especially on old go. He was also noted for trying to give something back to fans. His books were one avenue, but he was also a frequent public performer in open-air daidogei (大道芸) street performances, in his case by playing multi-multi-board simultaneous games.

His long wispy hair usually looked like he had just been walking in a gale. He could give Cho Chikun a run for his money in the hair department, but surely both of them must come in the anti-style category?

I also seriously doubt he could be called a noted stylist for winning a single technique prize. I don't know who's won most of those, but Ishida Akira won three.

What I suspect the reference may be to, though it could have been put better, is that he was noted for researching takamoku josekis and fusekis (probably because the 'taka' matched his name) and for playing them as either Black or White. He was also noted for playing many new moves. This would come under the heading of the usual Japanese phrase for what we think of as 'go style': 棋風.

However, there is a slim but real possibility that he was trying to be stylish (in a nice, humble way) somewhat along the lines of the Otake incident mentioned by gowan. He retired with a very respectable career record of 989-626. It was noted (!) at the time that he had chosen to quit just before reaching the coveted and still rare 1,000 wins mark. Perhaps he felt his tally of three minor title wins was not enough to merit being classed as a milliwinner.


This post by John Fairbairn was liked by 2 people: ez4u, Ferran
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