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What is Shogi? Shogi is a board game that..

About Shogi

Shogi is a game in which two people compete to win or lose against each other.
Playing Shogi is called pointing to Shogi. (Shogi wo Sasu)
Shogi has a unique rule that two players can alternately move pieces(駒) on the board(盤) and reuse the pieces obtained from the opponent.
The one who gets the opponent’s piece of King(王将) first wins.

The history of Shogi

The roots of Shogi are said to be Chaturanga, who was born in northern India around the 5th century.
Chaturanga, born in India, was transmitted to Europe afterward to become Chess, China to become Xiangqi, Thailand to become Makruk and Japan to become Shogi.

It is said that Shogi was introduced to Japan in the 11th century.
In the middle of the 16th century, the boards and pieces of Shogi became almost current specifications.

Around the end of the 16th century, Soukei Ohashi taught Ieyasu Tokugawa how to play Shogi and expanded in Japan afterward.

In 1612, 8 Shogi famous players were served by the Edo feudal government and became more popular among the people.
After that, “Oshiro Shogi,” which was played in front of the General (Shogun), began.

The rules of Shogi

Two players move pieces one by one alternately.
There are 20 pieces per person.
There are eight types of pieces, each of which can move in a different way, such as one step forward (歩) and any number of steps diagonally (角).

If you move to the place where the opponent’s piece is, you can get that piece. The pieces you got are called “Mochi Goma,” and you can use them wherever you want.
It is a unique rule that allows you to reuse the pieces you get.

The tools of Shogi

Shogi board

The shogi board draws straight lines vertically and horizontally and places pieces inside of squares surrounded by the lines.

The Shogi board uses 81 squares, 9 squares vertically and horizontally.
Kaya, Katsura, Hinoki (Tree type), etc., are used as the material of the shogi board.

Shogi Piece

All pieces are pentagonal, and there are eight types.
Characters are drawn on the front and back.
Tendo city, Yamagata prefecture, is famous for producing Shogi pieces.

About 90% of the Shogi pieces in Japan are produced in Tendo City.
It is said that the material of the piece from Mikurajima is the best grade.

Shogi title match in Japan

Shogi has eight major titles in Japan.
Ryuo(竜王), Meijin(名人), Oui(王位), Ouza(王座), Kiou(棋王), Ousho(王将), Kisei(棋聖), Eiou(叡王).

In Japan’s Shogi, Yoshiharu Habu monopolized seven major titles for the first time in 1996. (In 1996, there was no Eiou title)
It was a great achievement at the age of 25.

In 2023, Sota Fujii achieved an unprecedented eight major titles, an unprecedented feat at age 21.