The recent growth in the number of go players in the Occident is highly
encouraging. Professional players have of course worked hard, but
essentially this growth has come about because go is an excellent game
and people have realized how interesting it is. Go players should
rejoice at seeing their game, born and developed in the Orient, spread
out into the world. As the number of foreign players increases, it is
conceivable that go will undergo even further development. When world go
championships, comparable to the world chess championships, are held in
Tokyo, New York, or Beijing, interest in go will increase greatly, and
this will contribute greatly to international friendship.
For this reason it seems that Japan, the country where go is most
highly developed, needs to make still further efforts, one of the most
important of which is to achieve a rational, established set of rules.
Among occidental go players are many mathematicians, physicists, and
engineers. There is, accordingly, even greater interest in the rules
than in Japan. When a person attempts to understand a new and foreign
game, it is only natural to start by puzzling out its rules. The defects
in these rules, which tend to be overlooked in Japan because we have
become so accustomed to them, may well seem illogical to someone in
Go is such an excellent game that I think we ought to create a rational
set of rules for it no matter how great the hardships involved. What I
intend to do is to study the current Japanese, Chinese, and other rules
from various angles in the hope that this will provide material for
establishing a future set of Japanese rules.