IGS PANDANET is suporting The Nihon-Ki-in professional player Yuki Shigeno who is trying to increase Go population in abroad.
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Teaching Go in India
The boarding gate for Calcutta was occupied by Indian families who wore saris or turbans and the area had an exotic curry-like smell in the air and that naturally made me feel excited. From the end of February for about 3 weeks, I left the winter scenery of Milan to visit Calcutta to teach Go.
Hory river Ganga
It was 1997 when I first visited India to teach. At that time, I heard that Mr. Horiuchi who was working for the Japanese Embassy in Delhi loved Go and started teaching Go mainly to Indian children so that made me visit for support.
Later on, because of the effort of Mr. Horiuchi and other Japanese people, the Go Association in India was born and it has been a few years since India has participated in the World Amateur Go Championship in Japan every year. The strength of Indian players came up to 1 dan.
White and blue stones
Mr.Horiuchi has been a Japanese consul in Calcutta for 3 years and has started teaching Go mainly at an orphanage and to students in this town.
India, about the same size as Europe, is vast. Even though Go activities have started in Delhi, it didn't spread throughout the country easily. I heard that Go in Calcutta started from collecting boards and stones.
At the beginning, he taught Go using pet bottle caps which he asked many people to gather as Go stones and plywood with lines as 9x9 Go boards. Unusual white and blue stones are colorful and fun, aren't they?
Rainbow Home
The orphanage called Rainbow Home which is run by a Japanese NPO has about 30 children who lost their parents or whose parents have difficulties with living. Half of them, aged 3 to 12 years old, are Go members. In between school study, there are Go classes, one in the morning and one in the afternoon and they face the Go boards every day.
I, too, stayed at the Rainbow Home for a few days to teach Go to the children. Since the article about the Rainbow Home was on the Go newspaper last summer, Go teachers volunteer to teach from Japan. By the way, traveling expenses are on their own cost but accommodation and meals (Indian food) are provided by the Rainbow Home. Go teachers are very welcomed at anytime so how would you like to visit? During my stay, I had a chance to meet 2 Go teachers, one who was about to leave and the other who was taking that teacher's place.
Because of the efforts of Go teachers who teach every day, I was surprised and happy that the children perfectly understand the foundations of Go.
Game recoad
They have a game
Also, every Sunday, Mr. Horiuchi opens his house to hold a Go club to which children and students are invited. Even though he is away, the Go club continues to be held and that encourages the children a lot. Those children's behavior changes at the club because children with bad manners or children who make noise are not allowed to join.
Game of Go association on Sunday
In addition, Indian students who study Japanese come to the club, so there are as many as 30 people. They told me with a smile that they can feel Japan through culture like Go. And they enthusiastically play Go with the children. For them, I am sure that they don't want to be defeated by children even though those children who play Go every day have higher level of improvement.
At the World Amateur Go Championship this June, a 9 year old boy from the Rainbow Home has been selected. Not only he but also other children and people around him are very excited. Even a TV station came for an interview. Surely, that will be a good opportunity to link to the future of Go.
Go has grown like this through the help of Japanese people who love Go and children. I heard that Mr. Horiuchi will leave Calcutta soon since his contract will be finished but I can't stop hoping that Go will be enjoyed by more Indian people and Go will spread more.
India scenery
In towns of India, there are many poor people and children who beg and I have mixed feelings whenever I visit.
Also, for foreign tourists, wherever you go, you can't spend quiet time alone. I get tired of being followed and surrounded by Indian people. But I get attracted by the cheerful and lively town itself and their passion to live. India is a mysterious country. In the future, I'd like to travel India for a longer time.
By the way, food in India was very tasty! Before leaving Milan, I had a stomach ache and I was thoughtlessly expecting to be on a diet (?) but the spices whet my appetite and it was surely a reverse effect. I hate my invincible stomach. I will be in trouble when the season for wearing light clothes comes!

Q&A of Yuki Shigeno 2 dan go
2004.04 April
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