Hayashi Rigen (林利玄)

Rigen HAYASHI (1565 - year of death unknown) was a Igo (board game of capturing territory) player and was said to be the founder of the Hayashiya, the head family of a Igo school. He was a rival of Sansa HONINBO, against whom he played many games. He was a priest at Honno-ji Temple of Nichiren sect, and called Rigenbo. After the death of his early disciple Monnyusai HAYASHI, Sanchi YASUI (accomplished Igo player) made his own disciple succeed to Rigen's family reign as Monnyusai HAYASHI, the second, and this is the origin of the Hayashiya family. Therefore, although his name is often written as Rigen HAYASHI, it is unknown whether he himself used this surname. And it is thought that Kasho (also said to be called Rigen KASHO), who lived during the same period, was a different person.

He was born in Sakai City. Although the details are unknown, it is documented that he was a priest at Honno-ji Temple (in "Shunkyuki") and six years younger than Sansa (in "Todaiki" [a famous chronicle describing the Early Modern age]). In 1588, he participated in the tournament hosted by Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI, which was held in his presence, with Sansa (Nikkai) and Kaen, and he was determined to play with a handicap of Josen (playing with black in all games) against Sansa, who had survived the tournament defeating the opponents one after another. In 1592, he visited Ryoton HIRONO (known as Edo Asho, the Councilor of Edo) together with Yusai HOSOKAWA and Sokei OHASHI, the first, among others ("Tokitsune-kyo Ki" [Lord Tokitsune's Diary]). He was invited to play at various Igo game gatherings and tournaments, at Nanzen-ji Temple in 1596, and at Jinryu-in Temple, as well as, the gathering held by Ieyasu TOKUGAWA at Fushimi-jo Castle in the next year (1597). And the game held in the following year (1598), in which his opponent played with 3-stone handicap, was also documented. In 1603, when he was invited to the Imperial Palace, he played two games against Sansa, resulting in Jigo (draw) in a game and Sanmokugachi (winning by three points or intersections) in the other, and he was given makimono (a scroll), together with Doseki NAKAMURA and Senkaku. In 1606 when Masamune DATE invited Ieyasu to the Igo gathering in Edo (Tokyo), he participated with Sansa, Doseki, Sokei, and others. In 1607, he had a game against Sansa in the presence of Hideyori TOYOTOMI at Osaka-jo Castle.

In 1612, when horoku (a stipend) was given to 8 players of Igo and those of shogi, he received 50 koku gonin-buchi (about 9 cubic meters' rice, which is equivalent to an annual five-men rice stipend), equally as Sansa and Soseki. It is said that he and Sansa played 374 games, and Sansa went 39 games ahead. As it is commented that against Sansa, Rigen's handicap was half-stone and against Doseki he played with no handicap ("Todaiki," 1607), they seemed to play close games, even in case of Tagaisen (making the first move in alternate games).