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JP Kitani Minoru
General information
also found as 木谷 實 [No promotion information available]
chinese Mu4-gu3 Shi2 (mugu, mu gu shi)
korean Mok gok sil
nationality JP Japan
born 1909-01-25
died 1975-12-19
teachers Suzuki Tamejiro (from 1921)
rank 9
pro status Professional
pid 1060
biography Kitani Minoru, Born Jan. 25, 1909 in Kobe, Japan. Died in Dec. 1975. Came to Tokyo and became student of Suzuki Tamejiro, Honorary 9 dan in 1921. Professional shodan 1924; 2 dan, spring 1926; 3 dan, fall 1926; won an elimination tournament and was given the nickname "the Prodigy"; 4 dan 1927; in the famous rival match with the Kiseisha, he defeated eight opponents in a row; 5 dan 1929; met and played Go Seigen for the first time this year; 6 dan 1933; 7 dan 1935; 8 dan 1942; 9 dan 1956. Won the Oteai seven times. In 1933, along with Go Seigen 5 dan (at the time), he developed the "New Fuseki" (Shin-fuseki) which revolutionized the game. Around this time he started accepting his first students. In 1938 he played a memorial retirement game with Honinbo Shusai Meijin, which was immortalized by Nobel Prize winner Kawabata Yasunari in the novel "Meijin" (published in English as "The Master of Go".) Starting in 1939, he played a Jubango (ten game match) with Go Seigen, but was beaten down a rank by losing the match 4 wins to 6 losses. Kitani was somewhat unlucky in this match, getting off to a poor start and only racking up wins when it was too late. Only major titles were 2nd & 3rd Top Position Titles in 1956 and 1957 respectively, and the NHK Cup in 1960. Challenged for the 4th, 8th & 14th Honinbo Titles, but was defeated all three times. Winner of the Okura Prize in 1968. In 1954, he suffered a cerebral hemmorage, but recovered enough to resume playing. However, in 1964 his condition worsened while he was playing a tournament game and he was forced to practically retire. Also known as "the Great Kitani" (a nickname bestowed upon him by Segoe Kensaku, Honorary 9 dan), he made some of his most important contributions to the go world as a teacher. At the time of his death in 1975, the combined total dan ranking of his pupils was more than 250. His pupils include Cho Chikun, Kisei and Honinbo, Kobayashi Koichi, Meijin, Otake Hideo, 10 Dan, Kato Masao, Oza, and many other top players. Lived in Kanagawa, Japan.
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