Hikaru no Go
"Hikaru no Go" is a Japanese manga about a school boy named Hikaru Shindo who becomes a professional Go player in Japan. He gets interested in Go by mysteriously getting in contact with Fujiwara-no-Sai, the spirit of a very strong Go player who lived hundreds of years ago.
There is also an animated series based on the manga. I found it very enjoyable, too.
I found Hikaru no Go fascinating in several ways:
- It is a pretty good image of Go in Japan nowadays (what an amateur club looks like, what Nihon Ki-in looks like, what the professional Go scene in Japan is like)
- It describes the insei league pretty accurately.
- It shows accurate details from Igo Kenshu Center, where I lived as an insei.
The popularity of Hikaru no Go resulted in quite some boom in Go's popularity among children, not only in Japan but also worldwide. See this short video documentary on this topic.
I can personally swear for how quickly Hikary no Go gets children interested in Go: I tried for many months to get my 6 years old daughter to play Go, without any success. Once I had her watch the first few episodes of the Hikaru no Go video, she is now asking me to play Go with her.
Here are some handy links in case you want to buy Hikaru-no-Go items: