Interest in Go and Connections to CJK Cultures

Yes, I was already interested in the orient. The funny thing is that it was so normal in my life that I never really was aware of it until a friend visited me and asked if I was fascinated with the orient. Didn’t know what to answer, so he started to mention a few - well more than a few - things: oriental rugs, Chinese medicine locker, wicker chair, Indonesian incense burner, etc.


Before playing Go I was not especially interested in Japan, China, or Korean culture. At least, not more than typical people in my area of the US (food, markets, etc.). And for myself, not anymore than I am not really interested in these countries over other countries/cultures, which are also interesting.

And now I don’t I have much interest in these countries besides Go, but Google sure thinks that I’m interested in Japanese royal family drama and I have just about blocked it all from my news feed. Meanwhile, I went hiking in New Zealand once and I can’t get enough news about their national bird vote.


There was some discussion related to this in another thread


I was interested in Japanese culture long before I discovered Go. Food, language, anime, etc.
I’m slightly more interested in Korean culture since discovering Go.
I am relatively uninterested in Chinese culture, both past and present.


Are you sure they weren’t just trying to sell you something :slight_smile:


Both topics could be merged, nothing new in the OP.


Agreed. Done.


Took the words right out of my mouth!

Although I quite like pre-cultural revolution China.

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No connection. During the pandemic I was looking for a community/hobby; I was about to dust off my chess, then decided to try Go instead, which had been floating in my mind since the AlphaGo documentary.


I am sure he was not trying to sell me anything, since he pointed out stuff already present in my apartment.


I practiced karate and then Chinese martial arts between 1984 and 2001 (with some interruptions), tried to learn Japanese in 1992 but failed due to lack of time, and forgot most of the basic Chinese I learnt in 2002 (however the little I knew was sometimes useful when I visited China many years later).

The reason why I learnt Go is unrelated to the above. My son got interested in the game in 2015 after reading Hikaru no Go, and I decided to join the club one year later.


I think was somewhat interested in Japan in my childhood, because of samurai mostly and later on also because I practiced some Japanese martial arts.
When I learned go at 18, I became more interested in Japan and I even lived there for a year when I was 21 (trying to immerse myself more into go).

I’m fairly interested in Chinese history and also a bit in Japanese history. I’m not all that interested in Korean culture and history, but I’m generally more interested in Korean top pros than in Chinese top pros. Maybe that is because I feel that I know Korean top pros a bit better than Chinese top pros, because I rarely hear any stories about Chinese pros (except for Ke Jie and ofcourse Nie Wei Ping).


Did any of these play a role in introducing you to the game of Go?

Which of these had an impact toward introducing you to the game?
  • AlphaGo
  • Hikaru no Go
  • Go in the movie “A Beautiful Mind”
  • Go in the movie “Pi”
  • Some other movie, book, TV show (please comment)
  • None of the above

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All these didn’t exist yet.
The first time i got go mentioned was in a french Science magazine, an article every month (?) But that wasn’t when i started. Came much later by a friend.


The alphago games in 2017 made ripples in the computer YouTube community which made their way to me… Most likely either through computerphile or scishow. Sadly the first I had heard about Go as I would have loved to have known about it in my uni days.


There could be a connection. It’s true that CKJ cultures interest me.
However, I’ve watched 1000s of american series and films and I still don’t know how baseball works, nor do I care. I think that discovering a hobby is linked to our general personality and that we are bound to find a hobby that clicks, even if it’s “hidden” at the other end of the world.


I was looking into the first modern Chinese translation of the Japanese version of XuanXuan Qijing, and when I tried to find more information about the translator Chen Xianhui (陳憲輝), it triggered one of my old childhood memory that he also translated some manga about Go games that I read.

And I finally found the original Japanese version by Fujio Akatsuka in association with the Nihon kiin - “ニャロメのたのしい囲碁入門”

But I remember the version I saw as a kid was a Chinese translation version - “看漫畫學圍棋” published much later, but already looked a bit old when I read it.

It was so long ago, I think I was still a toddler when I saw it. And I can only vaguely remember the anime cat ニャロメ, a bold old man and a thief as characters, with a very weird story arc (if it can be called a story at all)


I wonder if anybody’s interest in go was piqued after seeing it in Tron: Legacy.



This guy :grin:

I had known about it earlier, but being reminded of its existence by Tron Legacy is what actually made me start to play.


I think you forgot to ask one important question: “What came first, your interest for go or your connection to non-go CJK culture?”