September 20, 2012
Nihon Ki-in’s Vice President, Hiroshi Yamashiro 9P and Hiroko Shinkai 5P visited Seattle Go Center last weekend, Sept. 14-16, to join in the celebration of the Seattle Go Center’s seventeenth anniversary. This was Mr. Yamashiro’s first visit to Seattle; Ms. Shinkai, a student of Seattle Go Center founder, the late Kaoru Iwamoto- sensei, was present at the Go Center’s opening ceremony in 1995.
On Friday evening, Mr. Yamashiro and Ms. Shinkai enjoyed a Salmon House dinner with the Seattle Go Center Board of Directors. On Friday and Sunday they took advantage of the beautiful weather, visiting Mt. Rainer and a variety of Seattle landmarks, with members of the Go Center acting as guides. Their attendance at the Go Center’s anniversary celebration also afforded them the opportunity to talk with Go Center members about a wide variety of topics, including methods of teaching, how to effectively take advantage of the opportunities offered by the internet, and the possibility of a single universal ranking system.
Hiroshi Yamashiro 9P from the Nihon Ki-in showing the right move
A frequent subject of conversation was Iwamoto-sensei’s vision of uniting people of different backgrounds and cultures through the game of Go. This principle is a core value of the Nihon Ki-in, and is an important consideration in many of the decisions they make. Helping to realize that vision is the reason that the Seattle Go Center was founded, and remains its sole charter. Because this vision is so important to both organizations, everyone involved was excited to exchange ideas and experiences about how best to honor Iwamoto-sensei’s legacy.
The entire Seattle Go Center membership was energized by the commitment and enthusiasm of both Mr. Yamashiro and Ms. Shinkai. The Go Center was proud to convey its own expression of Iwamoto-sensei’s bequest, and grateful to have the chance to identify opportunities to work more closely with the Nihon Ki-in in the future. At speeches during the Saturday anniversary party, (which also was attended by Japanese Special Consul Hana and AGA President Andrew Okun), both Seattle Go Center and Nihon Ki-in reaffirmed their commitment to Iwamoto-sensei’s vision, and to cooperating over the long term toward achieving that vision together.