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Shogi 23 March 2017

Very Japanese Style Observed in Behavior When Making Illegal Moves–Be a Graceful Loser–

Nae Kanamoto

The other day, we posted an article regarding to “Kinjite,” illegal moves in a game, in a series of “Shogi Rules – How to Play Shogi –”
That article explains one of “Kinjite,” Nifu. What surprised me the most is the way to deal with the situation when you make an illegal move.

Let’s have a quick review of that article. Shogi has a rule called Nifu; you can’t drop a piece of Fu (pawn) to a file where your Fu has been already placed. Basically, you will lose a game at the moment when you drop the second Fu. And if you notice your opponent’s making an illegal move, you have to point it out. If both players fail to declare nor notice it, the game will continue and the loser will be the one who declare one’s own loss of the game, named Toryo or resignation, but the one who made an illegal move. Toryo has a priority.

Actually, that was what I knew about this rule. Now, how about the situation when “you” made an illegal move The answer is that “you” should declare your loss immediately. If you only care about winning or losing, you would regard the situation when your opponent overlook your mistake as something lucky. However, Japanese style doesn’t allow this rigorously and dutifully. I think this is what is Samurai or Japanese style. I reaffirm the fact that Shogi is a part of time honored Japanese culture.

When you make an illegal move, Nifu, be a graceful lose.
When you make an illegal move, Nifu, be a graceful lose.

For small children, it must be difficult to admit their own defeat, especially when they have a bit of hope to win with a luck. I became to realize that overcoming these difficulties could stimulate children’s psychological growth.

この記事の執筆者Nae Kanamoto

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