Meijin

Meijin
Full name Meijin
Started 1976
Honorary Winners Cho Chikun
Koichi Kobayashi
Sponsors Asahi
Prize money 36 million Yen ($330,000 USD)
Affiliation Nihon Ki-in

Meijin (名人), literally translated, means "Brilliant Man." It is the name of the second most prestigious Japanese Go Tournament. It also refers to a traditional Japanese title given to the strongest player of the day during the Edo period.

Contents

The tournament

The Meijin tournament is sponsored by the Asahi Newspaper, and has prize money of ¥36,000,000 for the winner and ¥10,400,000 for the runner-up.

The Meijin tournament is open to Nihon Ki-in and Kansai Ki-in players. A nine-player league decides the challenger each year. Every year, the three worst-ranked players in the league drop out. Entrance into the league is decided by three preliminaries. The first is between 1-4 dans (6 winners: 4 Nihon ki-in and 2 Kansai ki-in). The second is between 5-9 dans and the six winners (18 winners). The third is between these 18 and the 3 people dropped from the league (3 winners, who enter the league). Komi is 6.5. Time limit is 8 hours each in the title matches and 3 hours in the league and prelims. Byo-yomi is 1 minute per move.

History

The title of "Meijin" derives from a game played by the first Honinbo, Sansa. An onlooker (no less than Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga) watched him play a particularly brilliant move and exclaimed "Meijin!" in appreciation of its greatness. The term Meijin was thereafter applied to the strongest player of the day. Sansa, besides being Nobunaga's go tutor, also taught Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who, after taking control, established Sansa as Godokoro, roughly meaning "Head of the Government Go Bureau." The Meijin title came to be greatly prized by all of the most promising Go prodigies of the age, freed from the cares of everyday life by the government stipends coming from the Go Bureau. Most often held by members of the Honinbo school, it was also held by brilliant Yasuis and Inoues. No player from Hayashi house attained Meijin status. The title "Meijin" is also attached to the rank of 9 dan during this period hence there is only one 9-dan/Meijin at a time even if there are many players that are at the strength of a 9 dan. 8-dans in the Edo period are called Jun-Meijin which means half-Meijin which is a rank accorded to sixteen players in the Edo period. After the Meiji Revolution, the four houses fell into disrepair due to the lack of government stipends.

In 1958, the Yomiuri newspaper decided to sponsor a "Strongest Player" tournament to decide the strongest player of the current time. In 1961 the tournament's name was changed to Meijin.

Since they already sponsored the Shogi Meijin tournament, in 1975 the Asahi Newspaper offered to buy the rights to the Meijin tournament from the Yomiuri. After months of debating, the title was sold and the Yomiuri began sponsoring a new title, Kisei (Go Saint).

Historic Meijins

Number Player Years
1st Honinbo Sansa 1612–1623
2nd Inoue Nakamura Doseki 1623–1630
3rd Yasui Sanchi 1668–1676
4th Honinbo Dosaku 1677–1702
5th Inoue Dosetsu Inseki 1708–1719
6th Honinbo Dochi 1721–1727
7th Honinbo Satsugen 1767–1788
8th Honinbo Jowa 1831–1839
9th Honinbo Shuei 1906–1907
10th Honinbo Shusai 1914–1940

Past winners

Year
Winner
Runner-up
Details
1962 Fujisawa Shuko Go Seigen Details
1963 Sakata Eio Fujisawa Shuko Details
1964 Sakata Eio Fujisawa Shuko Details
1965 Rin Kaiho Sakata Eio Details
1966 Rin Kaiho Sakata Eio Details
1967 Rin Kaiho Sakata Eio Details
1968 Takagawa Kaku Rin Kaiho Details
1969 Rin Kaiho Takagawa Kaku Details
1970 Fujisawa Shuko Rin Kaiho Details
1971 Rin Kaiho Fujisawa Shuko Details
1972 Rin Kaiho Fujisawa Shuko Details
1973 Rin Kaiho Ishida Yoshio Details
1974 Ishida Yoshio Rin Kaiho Details
1975 Otake Hideo Ishida Yoshio Details
1976 Otake Hideo Ishida Yoshio Details
1977 Rin Kaiho Otake Hideo Details
1978 Otake Hideo Rin Kaiho Details
1979 Otake Hideo Sakata Eio Details
1980 Cho Chikun Otake Hideo Details
1981 Cho Chikun Kato Masao Details
1982 Cho Chikun Otake Hideo Details
1983 Cho Chikun Otake Hideo Details
1984 Cho Chikun Otake Hideo Details
1985 Koichi Kobayashi Cho Chikun Details
1986 Kato Masao Kobayashi Koichi Details
1987 Kato Masao Rin Kaiho Details
1988 Kobayashi Koichi Kato Masao Details
1989 Kobayashi Koichi Awaji Shuzo Details
1990 Kobayashi Koichi Otake Hideo Details
1991 Kobayashi Koichi Rin Kaiho Details
1992 Kobayashi Koichi Otake Hideo Details
1993 Kobayashi Koichi Otake Hideo Details
1994 Kobayashi Koichi Rin Kaiho Details
1995 Takemiya Masaki Koichi Kobayashi Details
1996 Cho Chikun Takemiya Masaki Details
1997 Cho Chikun Kobayashi Koichi Details
1998 Cho Chikun O Rissei Details
1999 Cho Chikun Yoda Norimoto Details
2000 Yoda Norimoto Cho Chikun Details
2001 Yoda Norimoto Rin Kaiho Details
2002 Yoda Norimoto Cho Chikun Details
2003 Yoda Norimoto Yamashita Keigo Details
2004 Cho U Yoda Norimoto Details
2005 Cho U Kobayashi Satoru Details
2006 Takao Shinji Cho U Details
2007 Cho U Takao Shinji Details
2008 Cho U Iyama Yuta Details
2009 Iyama Yuta Cho U Details
2010 Iyama Yuta Takao Shinji Details
2011 Yamashita Keigo Iyama Yuta Details

In fiction

In the manga Hikaru no Go, there is a Meijin called Toya Koyo.

See also

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External links


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