The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun

Home > Education > People



Student champion of go for the first time in three years!
Build your human capability to build your go capability.

Mr. Yoshiji Miyazaki

At the end of last year, the WASEDA Igo Club won the 54th All-Japan Student Go Championship and became the university champion for the tenth time and for the first time in three years. This championship is a team competition by teams representing eight regions in Japan that won the spring and fall leagues, and all the five go players of each team play against all the other teams over a period of four days. "It was a close contest right until the end, and it wasn't sure which team would win," Mr. Miyazaki, sub-captain of the team, talks happily. "On the final day, I was so tense, waiting for the afternoon game, that I couldn't even eat lunch. Many people came to support us, and when we won, they tossed me in the air in triumph!"

What is attractive about go for Mr. Miyazaki? "What determines the winner and loser is definitely real ability. Nothing else matters, and I love it because I can know who the winner is." His straight and honest character has probably been cultivated through playing go. Mr. Miyazaki started to play go when he was six. Though he got tired of other activities like swimming and piano, he got absorbed in the deep and complicated world of go. He frequented a go school from which many professional go players were produced and met Mr. Yasuro Kikuchi who became his master in life. "I was impressed by his craftsman-like attitude toward go. Though he had the ability to become a professional, he targeted disciplining the mind and attitude of young people through go. He told me that I can be a good go player by building up my 'human capability." So, I can safely say that go has made what I am now."

Believing in the teachings of Mr. Kikuchi and facing go, he decided to become a professional player at the age of 11. "As I was in a rebellious phase, I didn't want to enter the junior high school that my parents recommended by taking advantage of the groundwork laid by them. But when I confessed to them that I wanted to become a professional go player, they readily accepted my wish."

At the age of 13, he passed an examination and became a member of the Nihon Ki-in, a stepping-stone to become a professional. He didn't go to high school and spent weekdays at the school and visited the Nihon Ki-in on weekends. When he turned 16, he started to address the tests to become a professional. "I thought I wouldn't need to go to high school if I wanted to become a professional go player. I have some regrets about not spending an ordinary high school life, but compared to students who had an ordinary high school life, I had the indispensable experience I got at the school and Ki-in."

Even by becoming a member of Ki-in, only a few people actually become professionals. The members must leave Ki-in at the age of 18, so I set a limit from the start." Unfortunately however, Mr. Miyazaki couldn't pass the professional test. He gave up on becoming a professional player and when he was 18 years old, he started to study for the Certificate for Students Achieving the Proficiency Level of Upper Secondary School Graduates and entrance examinations of universities.

Successfully won the all-Japan championship!

His first choice of school was WASEDA because the university has a strong go team. "In my freshman year, I participated in the All-Japan Student Go Championship and could contribute to win it, so I felt very happy. But for student players, enjoying go is the best! I want to enjoy things other than go and enjoy playing the game." In fact, Mr. Miyazaki had never been to karaoke before becoming a student and he rarely watched television. Changing his go-based life, he wants to try many different things while he is a student. "I want to travel alone and read many books. I want to build up my human capability and take advantage of it for go."

How will university life spent with unique comrades change Mr. Miyazaki's style of go? We must keep our eyes on the activities of the WASEDA Igo Club that will strive to win the championship for two consecutive years.

Barbeque with members of the Igo Club on holiday!

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)

Mr. Yoshiji Miyazaki

Born in Tochigi Prefecture in 1990. Sophomore of School of Social Sciences. Started to play go at the age of six as one of his after school activities. At the age of 13, passed the examination to join the Nihon Ki-in and targeted becoming a professional before he turned 18. Joined WASEDA after acquiring the Certificate for Students Achieving the Proficiency Level of Upper Secondary School Graduates. Joined the WASEDA Igo Club and contributed to winning the All-Japan Student Go Championship last year as sub-captain. He loves watching movies. "I saw about 60 films in a year. Edward Scissorhands was my favorite." He also likes going to noodle restaurants in Takadanobaba.