Does anyone know what is the minimum age for applying to be an insei in Japan?

I looked all over the internet, but couldn’t find the answer. What is the minimum age for applying to be an insei in Japan? Is there a minimum age? Has the minimal age restriction changed in the last decade?
Any answers would be greatly appreciated!

Asian players are required to become a professional before the age of 18 while studying as insei, but foreigners have the chance up to the age of about 30.

The D class insei were not so strong, maybe around European amateur 1-2 dan. C class insei were about the average-strength European amateur. B class insei were very strong for a European amateur.

All i found., ask @Tokumoto I think he might know

EDIT: Here?

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Haha, I just came here to say that I’d rather expect a maximum age limit than a minimum age, but @HowToPlay beat me to it, sort of :smiley: (maybe misunderstanding your question)

I couldnt’ find anything about a minimum age, although i look at some comments former insei had made and one said it was close to hikaru no go. which means kids in grade school /middle school can become insei

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I don’t think there is a minimum age. Cho Chikun became insei at age 7:

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yes i think so too, what counts is your go abilities, not if you are old enough

Youngest turning pro age records woudn’t exist if there was a minimum age limit. As long as you can lift the stone and place it on the board without swallowing it, I would think you are old enough to apply.


Note that if you are a westener, those agelimits don’t affect you like they affect locals. Ten was insei till he turned into pro at the age of 26 or so. More important is that you are ready to ditch your current life in order to live in japan and aim fully to your dream on becoming a pro. And of course you should be strong enough to beat other top amateurs, there is not much point of taking you as insei if you are not strong enough already.

(and of course you are supposed to be able to finance both your living and insei studies, it’s not free ya know)

1 Like says the regulations were changed as of Jan. 2011 with the maximum age of 14, with no mention of minimum age. I guess a 3 year old can be accepted as long as a parent/guardian can take him/her to the classes every week.

What may be less known is this info and other regulations commonly found that govern pros-to-be apply to Nihon Kiin Tokyo only. Not only Kansai Kiin (in Osaka,, but also Nihon Kiin Chubu (Nagoya) and Nihon Kiin Kansai (Osaka) have Insei programs. Although Nihon Kiin Chubu and Nihon Kiin Kansai tend to use the same policy/guideline as their Tokyo Main Office, they are autonomous in many ways, and Kansai Kiin is a completely different organization.

So if you have an unique situation, like a genius 5 year old on wheelchair, don’t think all is lost even if Nihon Kiin Tokyo says No.