Memorable Quotes from Kageyama

Reading Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go. I love the author’s side comments…

I know Kajiwara lost, but the way you play is so asinine that it makes your opponents light-headed, that’s all.

It is only if he was counting these places as his territory that his calculation are upset, his temper flares, his composure departs, and he rushes headlong toward some mighty failure.

The man who said … was expelled from Kageyama school of go.

If you do not feel the same tightening in your chest as when you close your eyes and picture the face of a lover, you do not live good shape enough.

These are just a few that popped into mind while reading. For those who finished his book would probably have more to contribute…



I’m trying to find the page where Kageyama writes “pardon my boner”

Edit: Sincere apologies for my disrespectful post. I will be more considerate henceforth.

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actually no. I’m looking in the book referenced above for the quote.

The link states pretty clearly it’s on page 210.

This is what I get:

I had to refine my search to find anything close.

Weird! For me the 3rd item in your picture was at the top. Which is where I got the “page 210” from.

maybe it’s because I’m a weeb I got more weeb-ish results.

And then there’s the American culture stuff I have to deal with.

plus, i do frequent quite a lot… so it possibly got bumped up the list…

RIP the days when everyone saw the same google results based solely on what you searched for. Freakin’ meta data!


There’s so much funny stuff in that book - early on he says

“So much for these lazy students, let them do as they please - they are not going to get anywhere. They need to be grabbed by the scruff of the neck and have some sense knocked into them”



I find Lessons in the Fundamental of Go amusing indeed, but the “demanding/harsh master” style gets stale a bit quickly with me…

Also, I got a bit disappointed when I read about how lazy too many people are when they do not read ladders, and then realized that Kageyama does not give (that I remember) any simple trick to read most ladders very fast (even though there are some): in this book, style comes before substance, sometimes, which is not what I look for in most go books. Too much chastising, not enough practical advice (in this case at least).

Now, that’s in any case a refreshing read.

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Actually, like it or not, his “trick” to read ladders is to learn to read them out.

This is his main point of the first section: you only learn to read by reading, not by learning tricks.

He is explicitly scornful of the search for simple tricks to replace reading: he says “Many amateurs, and even dan players, are apt to become impatient when confronted with long ladders like this and resort to stooping down and sighting diagonally or running their fingers zigzag across the board […]. All this I find a bit silly”.

Instead, he describes that he wants you to read the ladder out in your head, and even describes the words going on in your head while you do it, so that you learn to read.



If Kageyama meant this, then this sounds like advice for beginners, to me: reading is arguably very important, but past the beginner level there are much richer situations to practice it than reading ladders stones by stone; past this level, it is useful to read ladders through shortcuts (“tricks”) that allow you to handle them cleanly and way faster. Now, I don’t want to prevent anybody from taking one minute to read a ladder stone by stone even if they could take 5 seconds to reach the same conclusion instead and spend the remaining 55 seconds reading other sequences on the board…

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Note: I’m just presenting what I see from Kageyama, not trying to be argumentative! :slight_smile:


Having watched Dwyrin read in his videos, I have no doubt that this is true. What he can see with barely a blink is astonishing - something worth aspiring to.

There’s probably also value in knowing some tricks - I wouldn’t mind knowing them :slight_smile:

But Kageyama definitely doesn’t think so:

As for me, I’m still stuck down in the weeds using analysis tool to help me :stuck_out_tongue:

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no matter how dumb you think somebody is, please refrain from insulting them this way.

IF you can help, then please help directly (in this case by posting the link to SL), if you can’t, then just let it be.




He’s clearly not suggesting going “A stone here, a stone there, a stone here, a stone there” he’s just saying, actually read it out instead of zig zagging your finger across the board. When your reading is strong you can just draw the diagonal with your eye and look at the end of the ladder, it’s not a trick, but it is a shortcut, you’re still reading, you’re just speed reading.

Good last quote, @GreenAsJane.

The “tricks”/reading shortcuts I was thinking of are a bit cumbersome to explain without a drawing, but for reference, they are:

  • The diagonals of a ladder behave nicely with respect to the star points, which can thus be used to see quickly where the ladder is going
  • The stones trapped in the ladder can use support from stones at a distance of ±3 from the ladder center.
  • The stones around the ladder can use support from stones at a distance of ±2 from the ladder center.

I’m not giving much details here, but the general ideas are there, and maybe this can inspire somebody. :slight_smile:


Moving further off-topic but I can’t resist adding this statement that I once learnt, can’t remember where:

“A ladder is six points wide.”


I don’t know much about Kageyama’s personal life (not sure about his vices, etc.) but based on this book he would be an interesting teacher to have. Not everything is about go, but everything could lead toward go. I find that his book mixes his personal philosophy with go principles.

I’m still half way through the book, but I haven’t reached where he mentioned boner. =)

So far my take-aways are:

  • After reading Cutting and Connecting, I try to keep my groups and stones connected as much as possible, and cut where ever I can cut. However, I’m not sure if “cutting where I can cut” is a good strategy.

  • Stone Go Walking confused me. What is walking? Why do I need to keep the stones walking? Why can’t I jump elsewhere? I went to Sensei Library to look up what it was, and I was presented with a list of links that didn’t help me much at this stage.

  • Territory and Spheres of Influence. I slowly can recognize what is a territory and what is a sphere of influence. As suggested by Kageyama, I try not to get flustered when my opponent suddenly jumps into my sphere. However, what I still need to know when and how to turn my sphere of influence to become a more solid territory.

  • Fundamentals of Life and Death was helpful.

  • How to study joseki, went over my head.

  • Good Shape and Bad Shape made more sense after I saw dsaun’s lecture. I try to make more good shapes but it usually gets broken when I try.

My issue now is now to synthesize all these learning? I was 21k when I started reading the book, I went up to 19k, but dropped back down to 20k. And still dropping the more I try to use what I learned without a clear sense of how it all fits together.

Anyways, “learning never exhausts the mind”, as da Vinci once said. But “losing sure sucks” as this go play once said. :grin: