While studying the rules of go, Ikeda learned that the Laws of Go used
at that time by Japan's professional go association (the Nihon Ki-in)
were not necessarily logical, being little more than a reformulation of
customs that had come down from the Tokugawa period. He also recognized that
the Chinese and Japanese rules sometimes gave different results. Later,
he devised a logical set of rules that would eliminate the
differences between the Chinese and Japanese results.
Ikeda had a dream of go as an international game. Go is a form of
nonverbal communication, and he wanted to spread this excellent game
throughout the world. That would require international rules logical
enough to be accepted in western countries, and usable in games with
With the assistance of Go Seigen (9 dan), Rin Kaiho (9 dan), and
Miyamoto Naoki (then 8 dan, now 9 dan), Ikeda restudied the existing
material and published a one-year series of articles on the rules of go
in Igo Shincho.
Most of the defects of the Japanese rules that Ikeda pointed out have
been remedied by the current official Japanese Rules of Go, but Ikeda's
approach to the study of the rules is still valid.
Fujitsu has realized Ikeda's dream in the form of the Fujitsu Cup. The
Fujitsu Cup started a surge in international go activity. There are now
many international tournaments, sponsored in different countries.
There is also talk of making go an Olympic sport. Now is the time when
the rules of go need to receive attention, to make go truly
international. Ikeda's study of the rules is still fresh, and we think
that if offers a good basis for the fair pursuit of further discussions.
The entire text of the study has been made available on this web site
through the kind permission of Ikeda Sizu, the widow of Ikeda Toshio.