I’m reading The Master of Go by Yasunari Kawabata and there is a passage that states:
“While deliberating Black 5, Otaké … turned
one of the Master’s white stones right side up. If the
white stones had face and obverse, then the face must be the inner, stripeless side of the clamshell; but few paid attention to such details. The Master would indifferently play his stones with either side up, and Otaké would now and again turn one over.”
I take this to mean the stripes should be down. Is that right? And are there any good resources on these kind of (historical?) nuances of play? I always felt it’s more aesthetically pleasing to have the stripes up…
I love the stripes so much that I tried do make go stones out of wood, in order to see the grain.
But maybe the original purpose was to find the whitest material of all. I don’t know.
I’ve never heard of placing shell stones such that the stripes are facing down and not visible. I also thought the whole point of shell stones was to appreciate the beauty of the stripes, and I think any picture that I’ve seen of shell stones on a board have the stripes visible.
Shell stones are even sorted into different grades (and pricing) according to how fine and beautiful the stripes appear, so it’s quite surprising that someone would want to hide the stripes.
However, I also didn’t realize that the stripes were only on one side.
I have glass stones that have the stripes on both sides, and, as yebellz, had no idea this wasn’t true for clams…
Based on the sample of the one set I own, the white clamshell stones have stripes much more prominently on one side. But it is “budget” shell and slate set so who knows. I don’t pay that much attention to which way up I play them, they are lovely whichever way up!
Wow, I didn’t know that there were glass stones with stripes. Where did you get those?
I got them from the Australian Go Association who got them from 문화체육관광부 Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and KSPO (Korea Sports Promotion Foundation) who donate resources to promote expanding Go outside of Asia
They’re obviously glass to the touch, but in all other respects they are very nice stones (the boards they supply, 19 and 13 double sided, are also very nice quality)
Edit: here is a picture of the equipment, though I do not have close ups of the stones.
Could you post the photo directly here? Facebook requires a login to see it.
Both sides of the same stones from my “cheap” (possibly duff!) set of shell stones, in case anyone wanted to see the difference.
Sorry about that, it was a public post so I forgot it still needed a login.
Mark’s photo above is the one I linked to.
Those are so pretty!
You’re making me wish I’d gone with shell and slate over yunzi
I treated myself for my 40th so you still have plenty of time!
I just looked at a few sets, and now I remember why I went for the yunzi stones
Ooooooh yeah… Do make sure you own a small nation somewhere before attempting to buy S&S stones