Chess and Culture volume 2

  Thank you for waiting so much about this volume 2 article. One of a member of Imari chess club kindly allow me to ask questions regarding this tournament.
  In this article, there would be a simple questions and answers but I hope this article will show readers what was behind this tournament.

  Q1. What made you come up with such a cultural tournament?

  A1. I thought about collaborating with something original from my town, Imari 伊万里, before. Imari city is also famous about porcelain. That is why I was surprised to hear about production of Arita yaki chess pieces. From then, I was determined to use these chess pieces to organize chess event! Actually, artists and creators also would like to see how players use them to play on the point of usability. It was a great opportunity for both side.

  Q2. What was a purpose of this tournament?

  A2. There are mainly three reasons. One is for advertisement for Arita chess pieces. Second is for reinvigorate the facility. Third is for increasing a number of chess players. We couldn't achieve everything but in my opinion, it was a great start.

  Q3. What do you think about these chess pieces?

  A3. These chess pieces have a profound touch similar to a porcelain.  In addition, the design on the piece reflects elegance and precision.

  Q4. I was surprised to hear that you use these elegant chess pieces for rapid tournament. Aren't you afraid to damage them?

  A4. Before the tournament, I checked with creators about its intensity but honestly, I was bit worried about what if its design worn off.

  Q5. Through this tournament, what was the happiest moment for you?

  A5. When I saw many of Chess lovers in Kyusyu participated for this tournament, I was really happy. In fact, 11 people from Fukuoka, 4 from Saga, 4 from Nagasaki, and 4 from Kumamoto participated.

  Q6. Do you have a plan in the future?

  A6. Yes, I do. I would like to increase number of non-competitive tournament to connect chess players. Right now, I was thinking about tournament without taking note or creating time to discuss their own chess activity in the tournament.

If anyone who is interested in chess sets used at this tournament, check here.

They are going to host second tournament in January next year. Why don't you get in touch with culture through chess event?


Chess and Culture volume 1

  Let's say, you are an organizer. What kind of chess tournament would you like to organize? 
 This January, there was an unique tournament took place. When you enrolled to this tournament, you can actually feel a harmony between culture and chess.

  Do you know Arita-yaki(有田焼)? It is one of a traditional design in porcelain. It originated in Arita-cho in Saga prefecture. Arita-yaki deign is colorful especially famous for red decoration.

website from https://www.pref.saga.lg.jp/kiji0032157/index.html

website from https://www.thebecos.com/journal/aritayaki/

  In 2017 July, Saga porcelain skill center introduced a production of chess pieces created by this traditional design. In 2019 January, at Arita Porcelain Park Zwinger Palace, an unique tournament took place by collaboration between Imari(伊万里)Chess circle, which locates in west side of Arita prefecture, and the artists. They let chess players to use Arita-yaki chess pieces to play rapid games. The venue was also related to its culture; it is a theme park for displaying all sorts of Arita-yaki pieces which was exported mainly Europe from Edo to Meiji period. You can visit this place to experience an actual Arita-yaki by yourself.

Website from https://archives.bs-asahi.co.jp/yakimono_chickencup/
Imari(伊万里)and Arita(有田)Location

Website from https://www.travel.co.jp/guide/article/31415/
Arita Porcelain Park Zwinger Palace

  Would you like to see actual chess pieces? I was lucky to meet this chess pieces. The representative of Fukuoka chess club bought it for displaying and kindly allowed me to touch it!!When I lifted pieces, it's quite heavy for playing, yet this heaviness made me feel classy and the cold touch reminds me of touching  marble wall. This is an actual photo of pieces.The color of pieces are so deep and there was nothing awkward to see a harmony of Japanese and European atmosphere.  My favorite pieces are white pieces with a transparent feeling. 

This time, I interviewed one of a member of Imari Chess club about how they came up the concept of this tournament and why they felt that way to do so on vloume 2.


Ladies, It's your turn.

 What is going to happen on 14th of February?  It's a Valentine's day! Everyone reflects their sweet affection to their loved one by giving gifts, flower and chocolate on this day. This day is kind of worldwide event and Japan is not an exception for using this sanctuary day for commercializing sweets. They also celebrate Valentine's day however nothing like others. It is women who give chocolate!
 So, most importantly, do they sell chess motif chocolate? Believe me or not, they do sell beautiful, melting sweet chess  pieces!

Sited by RIHGA ROYAL HOTEL online shopping website:https://www.melissa-ec.jp/products/detail.php?product_id=1827

 RIHGA ROYAL HOTEL, one of a luxurious hotel in Japan, sell this magnificent chess pieces chocolate box every year.  All chess pieces are in the box that imitates book. This must make every chess fans happy.

 Don't they have Shogi chocolate? Of course. Japan don't betray our expectation. Since last year, they produce actual size of Shogi pieces chocolate, called Shogi de Chocolat.

 I bought one last year and it actually tastes really good. The website also wrote they not only concentrate   on disighn but also a quality of taste as well.

 You wana make something special and original chocolate for Valentine's day? Oh and you even want baking a cake?? For those passionate ladies, these will help you.

Sited from:https://item.rakuten.co.jp/tubakiyacrafts/sweets_29/?scid=af_pc_etc&sc2id=af_113_0_10001868

  This layout will help you creating cute toppings for your cake! Even creating your own favorite flavor chocolate pieces is possible! Ladies, Are you ready???


Happy New Year!

   Happy New Year! I hope you have a wonderful time.
   Today, I would like to share an interesting Japanese chess players custom in New Year Holiday. Here is my question. Where do Japanese go during New Year Holiday? Their hometown? Perhaps. DVD Shop? Men, we can watch online nowadays. The answer is Shrine!! The first visit to a shrine of the new year is important to them. This is called Hatsumoude (初詣). I will explain bit more what do they do in Hatsumoude. They go to a shrine to make New Year's wishes such as good health, world peace or even something personal such as a promotion, marriage etc.... Before they wish their wishes, they usually toss their coins. This is like a common sense. The price doesn't effect to your wishes, yet, some people intentionally choose which coins they are going to use. For instance, they prefer 5 yen coin because a pronunciation of 5 yen is similar with ご縁(connection). It seems bit greedy but they tell their wishes to Gods, at the same time, they are hoping to make connection with Gods!
So, How much Japanese chess players toss? IM Shinya Kojima, No.1 Chess player in Japan, shared his photo on his twitter account like this.

64  yen! Can anyone guess why??

Hello Everyone!

   What do you think about popularization of chess in Japan? Comparing to overseas, one might think this way; it must be really really hard to find a place for practice.  Perhaps no one understands chess in my community. What should I do if my opponents don’t understand un passent!!...if you think this way, you are half correct and half incorrect.

    Let's see Japanese chess culture. The maximum number of participants at chess  tournament is 100 in Japan. If you are serious chess players, you will find out we only have two FIDE rated tournaments in Japan whereas there would be uncountable FIDE tournaments over the world and what's more, they are still trying to increase a number of FIDE tournaments for talented youngsters. If you would like to get norms for title, I certainly do not recommend you to play in Japan.

    I am not going to start debating what's wrong with this country because my argument is not to prove how Japan is developing country in chess. Believe me, I've seen All kinds of Chess activities here for almost two years and found out more and more number of chess lovers who start chess gatherings by themself.

    In this Blog, ice break, I would like to introduce chess culture in Japan.
Why did I chose "ice break" as my blog's title? Good question! Thanks for asking.
Ice break is a world usually describes an activity that helps people especially freshmen to feel more relaxed.  I hope my blog will be a nice ice breaker between Japanese chess culture and others!