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August 03, 2004

ISPS-An Insititution for Popularization of Shogi(Vol.13,9.15.2000)

In our organ “Kakehashi”, I have decided to have a column in which our dreams and projects shall be described. For the time being, I shall be in charge of filling up the column. Of course, since it is an open forum, any member is free to use the column for expressing his view. (by Naohiro Sanada, Chairman)

One of the mottos of our society since its establishment is “to make dreams as big as possible with a commitment to work steadily”.

The purpose of our society is to let people of the world understand and enjoy Shogi. However, the challenge of spreading Shogi throughout the world is beyond a single person’s ability. Hence, it becomes necessary to establish and utilize an organizational power. Our intention is to accept interested and motivated people as members and help them spread Shogi utilizing the function of our organization.

Interestingly, there are a few people who are against spreading Shogi internationally. For example, Japanese residents accused a person who gave lessons on the game to Chinese children in Beijing since Chinese children became much stronger than Japanese children. Likewise, among my friends, there is a person who is against teaching Shogi to foreigners on the grounds that persons who are not Japanese should not hold such important titles as “Meijin” and “Ryuou”.

In the 21st century, by means of development of transportation and communication, contact of different countries is sure to become much closer. Under such circumstances, is there any point in boasting to be the world’s No. 1, by winning a title of a game which is played only within Japan among Japanese?

According to the rules of Japanese Shogi, since pieces taken out from the opponent can be utilized, diversity of situations about the end of a game is so varied that it is more interesting than the other equivalents like chess.

As a matter of fact, after teaching Shogi to foreigners who are strong in Chess or Chinese Shogi, I usually ask them, “Which of the two is more interesting?” Their answer is “Just between us, Japanese Shogi is more interesting”.

Can you imagine that in spite of such attractiveness, there are professional Shogi players solely in Japan? Do you not think that the present situation is rather strange? Hence, I strongly advocate that we, the members of I.S.P.S., helping each other, should spread Shogi throughout world.

During this year, I.S.P.S. is scheduled to acquire a legal personality as a non-profit organization. By acquiring this legal personality, the organization affirms its commitment to fulfill the obligations spelled out in its charter. Thus, our group is poised to grow from a mere group of Shogi lovers to an organization devoted to international cultural activities through Shogi.

Thus your kind understanding and continued cooperation are becoming more valuable as we continue in our quest.


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