Any available books on history of Go

Hello everyone. I’ve been looking for some books on history of the game. It is my understanding that we have some articles on history here and there, but books on history in English were mostly written by John Fairbarine and published by Slate and Shell and

  1. are out of print
  2. never made it to ebook format

Please tell me if I am missing something. I am pondering the idea of starting second-hand book hunt but it would very taxing given my location of residence. %)


This is an introductory book that seems to be still in print (or at least easily obtainable and seems to be available as an ebook). It aims to both explain how to play the game for beginners and give a little bit about the history of the game. Frankly, it does not do a great job at either, but I’m not familiar with any other in print books that discuss more about the history and culture around the game.

However, if you are looking for a really deep dive into the history of the game, this book might be a bit disappointing, since it is really somewhat superficially treated, and you could probably find similar info just from Wikipedia.


SmartGo books have a few of John Fairbairn’s books in Epub and smartgo books format.

You can see what that have available anyway and hopefully they’ll add more in the future. (They are continuing to add books by different authors)


Thanks, I saw their catalogue but skipped “Honinbo Tournament The Early Years” the first time. Looks like it fits my creteria.

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Thanks, I’ll give it a try. You are correct, so I won’t hold my hopes high.

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Invincible – The Games of Shusaku is the classic source for Shusaku and, to some extent, Jowa, Shuwa, and Genan.