Statement in support of the SGC from the New York Go Center (May 2, 2012)

The Board of Directors of Nihon Ki-in America and the New York Go Center (now closed) supports the continued operation of the Seattle Go Center. From its founding, the Seattle Go Center has been particularly successful in uniting players from all cultural backgrounds and in drawing broad support from the Go community. In that sense, the Seattle Go Center has been the most successful of Iwamoto-sensei’s four Go Centers.

The NYGC Board was not consulted or informed of Nihon Ki-in Japan’s plan to close the Seattle Go Center. We never suggested that Seattle be sold to fund New York. While we appreciate Nihon Ki-in Japan’s interest in reestablishing the New York Go Center, we strongly disapprove of doing so at the expense of the Seattle Go Center.

Both the Seattle Go Center and the New York Go Center are capable of supporting themselves financially thanks to Iwamoto-sensei’s generous contribution of the funds to purchase the buildings and the support of local players. It is not necessary to sacrifice either of them. Seattle should remain and the NYGC should be redeveloped and operated to serve the international Go community in New York. Properly run and maintained, the New York Go Center will undoubtedly generate income.

The Nihon Ki-in has generously supported international go for decades with the creation of overseas chapters, establishment of the World Amateur Championships and the International Go Foundation, invitations for overseas teachers, the visits of hundreds of professionals, and more. We acknowledge and greatly appreciate these contributions, and we value our friendship with the Japanese Go world. We hope the Nihon Ki-in will reevaluate its relationship with the American Go Centers and will realize that unilateral decisions – taken without the input of those who have put Iwamoto-sensei’s vision into action with years of volunteer effort – will seriously damage the relationship between Japanese Go and the American Go community. That damage can be avoided with cooperation and collaboration.

We believe the situation calls for the Nihon Ki-in to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement with the American Go Association, the Seattle Go Center and the New York Go Center to make the best use of Iwamoto-sensei’s generous endowment to Go in the United States.