Go As Communication
70 pages, paperback, Slate & Shell, 2002
Go as Communication is the record of a surprising discovery, namely, that a simple game can have enormous educational and therapeutic value.
Yasutoshi Yasuda, the person responsible for this discovery, is a Japanese professional player. Concerned about social problems in Japanese schools, Yasuda began introducing the game to school children and discovered to his surprise that it had immediate positive effects. His experiences with school children encouraged Yasuda to expand his efforts to homes for the elderly and then to institutions for the mentally and physically handicapped. In every case, the game had a tremendous positive impact.
The version of the game that is used in these programs is quite easy to learn, and it is easy to make playing equipment. The book provides thorough practical guidance for both teaching thr game and creating playing sets.
There is no impediment for anyone who finds Yasuda's program as appealing -and inspiring- as I and many other people do. The rewards are immediate and obvious. Scores of people around the world have introduced the capture game to thousands of people of all ages with very satisfying results. Yasuda's program offers everyone an opportunity to make a positive difference.
"You are a senile old man; you've forgotten to use your walking stick!"
We were playing a game of Go with the members of two teams taking turns placing a stone on the board at a day care center for the elderly. Suddenly, a man who had seemed able to walk only with the aid of a walking stick, stood up and walked toward me. He was so absorbed in playing Go, he had forgotten about his cane!
It is often said that people are losing heart nowadays. Am I the only one who feels that people, children and adults alike, look tired? I wanted to do something to help this situation, and a number of years ago I embarked on a plan of popularizing Go in the hope that I, as a professional Go player, could do something to help change society.
During the years since then, I have visited educational institutions, including preschools, elementary and junior high schools, as well as institutions for the mentally handicapped. The game I advocate is the capture version of Go, which does not involve complicated rules. In fact, anyone can enjoy the game by understanding a single, simple rule.
I've experienced amazing results. I have seen children and adults alike regain the sparkle in their eyes. The episode of the old man is but one example of unexpected results. I have often heard others call these miracles, but I would say that each of us has a great inherent power that is brought out through playing Go. At the same time, I am certain of the great potential contained within the game of Go.
Anyone can learn and enjoy playing Capture Go, since the game transcends age differences, disabilities, and language barriers. While communicating with others around the board, or when a group of players becomes united as one while playing a team game, we find ourselves enjoying interacting with others, leaving social status behind. In the process of considering the next move and discovering the right answer on our own, we realize our own great potential.
The Go program I initiated has spread throughout Japan and to schools and institutions abroad. During that time, I have reflected on the meaning of communication and interaction through Capture Go, and I have had so many moving experiences that I hoped I would one day be able to share with as many people as possible. I will be very happy if we can share the pleasure of Go through this book.
Yasutoshi Yasuda, January 2000, preface
001Part One: The Impact of Playing Go
001 The Beginning— A Kindergarten in Shonai
008 The Alpine Go Village
012 The Island of Nokonoshima
020 An Incident at Anjaen
024 A Class of Special Needs Children
027 Exchanges at a Day Care Center for the Elderly
032 Voices from the Field: Mr. Daigo Hinata
035Part Two: How to Create a Go Program
036 How to Teach Kindergarten Children
042 How to Teach Elementary School Children
043 How to Teach Junior High and High School Students
043 How to Teach Go in Institutions
044 Voices from the Field: Mrs. Rie Baba
047 The First Go Programs Overseas -in the Netherlands
050 -in Romania
052 -in the Czech Republic
054 -in Poland
055 -in Hungary
057 -in The USA
058 A Common Wish
059 Voices from the Field: Mr. Takashi Hayashi
064 We Are All Alike Human Beings
066 Appendix: More Detail on Capture Go
069 Afterword by Takeshi Yokouchi