Honinbo Shuei (本因坊秀栄)
Honinbo Shuei (November 1, 1852 - February 10, 1907) was an Igo (board game of capturing territory) player in the Edo and Meiji periods, also known as Shuei HAYASHI the 13th, Honinbo the 17th and the 19th, and a Meijin (master)(Igo). His home province was Edo. His homyo (posthumous Buddhist name) was Nichidatsu.
He was the second son of Honinbo Shuwa and his real name was Hirajiro TSUCHINOYA. He succeeded the Hayashi family (Igo) the 13th, but returned to the Honinbo family to oppose to Hoensha, succeeded Honinbo the 17th in the 5th dan (qualification of rank) level and extinguished the Hayashi family. He was praised as the Master of the masters in the second half of the Meiji period and his transpicuous Igo style is highly evaluated even in the present age. He was admitted to the Igo Hall of Fame in 2008.
Until holding the title of Honinbo
He was born in the Honinbo residence at Honjoaioi-cho in Edo. In 1862, he was adopted by Hakueimonnyu HAYASHI the 12th, and changed the name to Shuei HAYASHI at the age of 11. He achieved the 1st dan level when he was 12 years old. Hakuei died in 1864, but Shuei kept his death secret and submitted a request to inherit the family estate in the following 1865, then the family estate was allowed to him in the 3rd dan level at the age of 16 in 1867, and thereby he became the 13th of Hayashi family. In 1868, Shuei asked for a promotion to the 4th dan level at the age of 17 with the consent of Honinbo and the Yasui family, but Matsumotoinseki INOUE opposed this and designated Tetsujiro KOBAYASHI, his disciple, as the opponent of Sogo (official challenge match). Shuei demanded to match up with Inseki as the family head of the Hayashike, but was rejected, and therefore three families approved the fourth dan level to Shuei and also decided not to ask the consent on the dan promotion to Inseki who had previously caused similar problems.
In 1869, he inaugurated a study group 'Rokuninkai' (six-people society) with Honinbo Shuetsu, Kamesaburo NAKAGAWA, and others. In 1870, he played Jubango (10 game match) against Showa ITO the 7th dan level (Shuei, Sen [playing 1st in all 3 matches]), 7 wins, 2 losses, and 1 draw. He achieved the 5th dan level when he was 20 years old. From 1872 until he became 24 years old, Shuei toured the Mino, Owari, and Ise Provinces and the Keihan (Kyoto and Osaka) area with Honinbo Shuho who had been alienated from the Honinbo family. In 1876, he played 10 matches against Kamesaburo NAKAGAWA, 20 matches against Tetsujiro KOBAYASHI, and 10 matches against Hosaku FUJITA, in which he performed Josen (the same as sen above) to Kobayashi. Around this time, Shuei was not going well with his foster mother, and had been forced to live separately. In 1877, his foster mother died and a relative succeeded the family name, and thereby, Shuei began to bear the continuance of the Hayashi family as an Igo family.
In 1879, Hoensha was inaugurated as an Igo study group mainly by Shuho MURASE the seventh dan level and Kamesaburo NAKAGAWA, who were the leading authority of the Igo world at that time. In commemoration of this, Shuei participated in the Hoensha opening commemoration match with the Igo players of the head family side including Sanei YASUI, the fifth dan level. Soon after that, however, Shuei began to act repulsively against Hoensha's way not appreciating the authority of the head family, and withdrew from Hoensha to counteract Hoensha and Shuho MURASE. In the end of September, Shuei deprived the dan levels of the disciples who became the employees of Hoensha by conspiring with Honinbo Shugen the 16th and Inseki INOUE, which made the confrontation decisive.
In 1884, Shuei abolished the Hayashi family and forced Honinbo Shugen retire, then returned to the Honinbo family and called himself Honinbo Shuei the 17th. He asked Shojiro GOTO to act as intermediary for the reconciliation with Hoensha recommended by Kaoru INOUE and Gyokukin KIN and others, then on December 21, Shuei started 10 matches with Shuho MURASE, in Shuei's sen.
In July 30, 1886, Shuei reconciled with Hoensha and officially approved the eighth dan level to Honinbo Shuho, and at the same time he transferred the title of Honinbo to Shuho and called himself Shuei TSUCHIYA. Shuho became Honinbo the 18th, and immediately on the same day, he presented the 7th dan level to Shuei who had the 5th dan level. On August 6, Shuei finished 10 matches against Shoho in a draw, with 5 wins and 5 losses. Immediately after that, however, Shuho died on October 14, and Shuei asked Kamesaburo NAKAGAWA for Sogo (official challenge match) to succeed the title of Honinbo but was declined, and therefore Shuei succeeded the Honinbo family again to be Honinbo the 19th. After this, Honinbomon and Hoensha split off.
The road to a Meijin (master)
He inaugurated 'Igo Shorei Kai' (Nihonbashi Club Shorei Kai) (encouragement society) in 1892. Later Honinbo Shuya who had been expelled from Hoensha became a disciple, and this Shorei Kai lasted until 1894.
In 1895, he inaugurated 'Shishokai.'
He was supported by Shinzo TAKADA who was a wealthy person at that time and also by Tamiko, Shinzo's wife. Shugen TSUCHIYA, as well as young Igo players of Hoensha including Junichi KARIGANE, gathered one after another at Shuei who made remarkable progress. This continued at the residence of Shuei in Yushima every month until 1904, totally 102 times. He achieved the eighth dan level in 1898.
In 1904, Shishokai ended and the establishment of 'Nihon Igo Kai' (Japan Igo Association) was promoted by the intercession of Yoshijiro YANO at Jiji Shinpo (a daily newspaper publishing company), and in commemoration of the preparation of its establishment, Shuei fought against Yasuhisa TAMURA (Sen) in two matches and won both, which was his last Igo match. The Nihon Igo Kai was established in the following 1905, including honorary members such as Sutejiro FUKUZAWA, Tsuyoshi INUKAI, Eichi SHIBUSAWA, Hisaya IWASAKI, Ryohei TOYOKAWA, and Tamiko TAKEDA.
(The Nihon Igo Kai was dissolved after the death of Shuei.)
In 1906, other than when Tamura kept Josen, Shuei beat other Igo players under Sen ni (handicap matches), and was promoted to the ninth dan level and also appointed to the Master.
He was confined to bed due to influenza from December of the preceding year, and died at the age of 56 in February 10, 1907. He was buried at the Honmyo-ji Temple in Hongo Maruyama, and his homyo was Nichidatsu.
Shuya was the strongest player among Shuei's disciples, but it is said that Shuei disliked Shuya due to his miserly attitude, and intended to put up Junichi KARIGANE as his successor. However, Shuei died before appointing his successor, so the confusion occurred over the status of Honinbo. After all, it was sorted out by Shugen, Shuei's younger brother, who succeeded the 20th for the time being and transferred it to Shuya one year later.
1870: 10 matches against Showa ITO (Shuei, Sen), 7-2-1
1876: 10 matches against Kamesaburo NAKAGAWA (Shuei, Sen)
1876: 10 matches against Hosaku FUJITA (Tagai-sen [no handicap], 4 consecutive wins, Fujita, Sen ai sen [1st move in 2 matches and 2nd move in 1 match])
1876 to 1877: 20 matches against Tetsujiro KOBAYASHI (Tagai-sen, 6-2-1 up to the 9th match, Kobayashi, Sen ai sen, 7-2-1 up to the 18th match, Kobayashi, Josen), 13-5-2
1877: 10 matches against Shunsetsu KURODA (Tagai-sen) 4-6
1884 to 1886: 10 matches against Shuho MURASE (Shuei, Sen), 5-5
1896: 10 matches against Senji ISHII (Ishii, Sen), 8-2
1897: 10 matches against Sanei YASUI (Sanei, Sen ai sen), 6-4
1898: The 2nd 10 matches against Sanei YASUI (Sanei, Sen, 4-0 up to the 4th match, Sen ni sen [1st move in 2 matches and a two-stone-handicap in 1 match]), 8-2
1900: 10 matches against Junichi KARIGANE (Karigane, Ni Sen ni [1st move in 1 match and a two-stone-handicap in 2 matches])
Other than the above, Igo matches were held in Igo Shorei Kai and Shishokai after separating from Hoensha.
Igo style and Personal profile
It has been said that Shuei was quick to see and quick to place Igo stones.
After 1926, Honinbo Shusai told that 'even now Master Shuei would beat me even if I played Sen ai sen.'
"Inukai Bokudo den" (biography of Bokudo INUKAI) describes that Shuei was a close friend of those politicians including Tsuyoshi INUKAI and Toshimichi OKUBO. Shuei was close to Gyokukin KIN, who had fled from Korea to Japan, and visited to console him when Kin was exiled to the Ogasawara Islands and Hokkaido. It was Kin who advised Yasuhisa TAMURA to become a disciple of Shuei.
He was considerably supported by Tamiko TAKADA for Shishokai and others, but disconnected from the Takada family due to the improper manners of Chikucho NOZAWA, his disciple who trained other disciples as his proxy, and therefore the management of Shishokai came in trouble. However, Tamiko TAKADA became a member again when the Nihon Igo Kai was established.
The match against Yasuhisa TAMURA the fourth dan level (with a handicap of the first move) in 1895
In the scene (see the figure) when Shuei was challenged how to handle five stones in the left side, his spectacular move has been passed down that he made the third white, and two stones taken by the opponent, to three stones from Hane (putting a stone crossly) of the first white.
He took in 'd' and Hane, also three black stones which were pivotal (should not be taken in) by utilizing 'b' and Nozoki (approaching) for receiving 'a.'
Moreover, for Tsugi (connecting not to be cut) of 'c' towards the third white, he performed Watari (connecting own stones) for the white 'e,' black 'a,' white 'f,' black 'g,' and white 'h.'
Tamura of the black stones had to perform Ate (doing above Watari) with 'e' and throw away upper three stones, and white five stones which were in a trouble could proudly return.
This spectacular move is famous in Igo history and also Shuei's playing style up to there was also highly evaluated.
Books and Publications
"Setting Moves in Igo, New Technique of Igo," Okura Shoten (publisher), 1894 (Shuei's instruction manual for Fuseki [preparation] from Nine stones to Tagai-sen)
"Igo Shorei Zasshi" (encouragement magazine), Igo Shorei Kai, 1892 - Unknown (published the Igo matches of Igo Shorei Kai)
Master Shuei Kifu (record of Igo matches) Preservation Society, "Complete Works of Shuei," Ono Banzai Kan (publisher), 1911 (recorded 256 Igo matches, chief editor Honinbo Shuei, reprinted in 1922)
Kaku TAKAGAWA, "Shuei, Japan Igo Collection (17)," Chikuma Shobo Publishing Co., Ltd., 1976
Shoichi TAKAGI, "Shuei Ryusui, Classic Great Igo Playing Selection," Nihon Ki-in (Japan Igo Association), 1996