Foreword

On the path to Go mastery one is bound to get frustrated, tired or simply bored at times. Countless variations, joseki, tesuji and life & death problems are starting to wear you down? This section is here to offer you a sip of new motivation and cheer you up. Here we’ll post our top picks of Go related books, movies, anime and other things that will inspire you to keep moving forward.

Go Films

Top 3 Suggetions

Hikaru no Go (2001)

Japanese anime series. One day a Japanese sixth grader named Shindo Hikaru discovers an old Go board in his grandfather’s attic. Inside that old board there lives a ghost that only he can see.
 Hikaru no go
(2001) on IMDb

Alpha Go (2017)

On March 9 2016, the worlds of Go and artificial intelligence collided in South Korea for an extraordinary best-of-five-game competition. It was a match between one of the strongest professional players living today, Lee Sedol from South Korea, and a mysterious AI challenger — AlphaGo.

Despite being a documentary, it is exciting to watch and it shows you how modern Go AI got to be where they are now.

Watch it on YouTube

 AlphaGo
(2017) on IMDb

The Stone (2013)

A story of an unlikely friendship between a brilliant young Go player Min-su and a middle-aged gangster Nam-hae. They are both yet to learn new things about Go and the cruel reality around them. What can they teach each other?

 Камень
(2013) on IMDb

The Divine Move (2014)

Professional Go player Tae-seok loses a high-stakes game to infamous underground gambler Sal-soo, and ends up framed for the murder of his own brother and locked up in prison. He vows revenge and trains ferociously. Yes, there will be blood on the Go board.

A good choice for those who enjoy blockbusters and action films.

 The Divine Move
(2014) on IMDb

The Divine Move 2: The Wrathful (2019)

“You’re destined to become a monster when you try to make yourself a god.” In the 1990s, when Go gambling fever swept Korea, Gui-su loses everything because his father gambled obsessively until there was nothing left. Left all alone in the world, Gui-su meets a mentor and Go teacher, Il-do, and goes through vicious training to become the grandmaster of Go.

The second part tries to follow in the footsteps of the first film in terms of style and the amount of action scenes. It’s not a sequel but an entirely different story though.

 The Divine Move 2: The Wrathful
(2019) on IMDb

The Go Master (2006)

Wu Qingyuan was born to a wealthy family in China, and as a boy he revealed a remarkable talent for the centuries-old game known as Go. Wu’s skill for the game was so great that in the 1920s he was given the opportunity to travel to Japan, where he would learn from the grand masters of Go and compete with champions from around the world. He became known under his Japanese name — Go Seigen.

It is a lot more interesting to watch this movie when you already know who Go Seigen was, maybe even after reviewing some of the games he played.

 The Go Master
(2006) on IMDb

The Surrounding Game (2018)

This documentary explores Go as a phenomenon that is virtually unknown in the West. It follows several American players who strive to become professionals within a newly established pro league.

 The Surrounding Game
(2018) on IMDb

Go Books

The Treasure Chest Enigma
by Nakayama Noriyuki

This book is a collection of essays and curious ladder problems. The essays are well written and inspiring. The book sheds some light in its own peculiar way on what it truly means to be a Go player.

Amazon

The Master of Go
by Yasunari Kawabata

It is a semi-fictional chronicle of the lengthy 1938 “retirement game” of Go by the respected master Honinbo Shūsai, against the up-and-coming player Minoru Kitani (although the latter’s name is changed to Otaké in the book). It was the last game of the master Shūsai’s career, a lengthy struggle which took almost six months to complete, it captured the moment in which the immutable traditions of imperial Japan met the onslaught of the twentieth century.

Amazon

First Kyu
by Sung-Hwa Hong

A compelling, insightful and haunting tale of love, sacrifice, the search for excellence, and Go — the world’s oldest game.

Amazon

Go: An Asian Paradigm for Business Strategy
by Yasuyuki Miura

A Go board can be a model of the universe or a model of business management. In Japan business is not considered a war but an inspiring and harmonious coexistence. The author is a marketing director of Japan Airlines.

Amazon

The Girl Who Played Go
by Shan Sa

As the Japanese military invades 1930s Manchuria, a young girl approaches her own sexual coming of age. Drawn into a complex triangle with two boys, she distracts herself from the onslaught of adulthood by playing the game of go with strangers in a public square–and yet the force of desire, like the occupation, proves inevitable. Unbeknownst to the girl who plays go, her most worthy and frequent opponent is a Japanese soldier in disguise. Captivated by her beauty as much as by her bold, unpredictable approach to the strategy game, the soldier finds his loyalties challenged. Is there room on the path to war for that most revolutionary of acts: falling in love?

Amazon

Shibumi
by Rodney Whitaker (Trevanian)

“Born in the ravages of World War I China to an aristocratic Russian mother and a mysterious German father, raised in the spiritual gardens of a Japanese Go master, he survives the destruction of Hiroshima to emerge as the world’s most artful lover and its most accomplished — and highly paid — assassin. Genius, mystic, master of language and culture, His secret is in his determination to attain a rare kind of personal excellence, a state of effortless perfection… shibumi.”

Amazon

Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go
by Toshiro Kageyama

This book is not fiction, it’s essentially a textbook on the basics of Go that will guide you from the start of the opening all the way to the endgame. What makes it different from hundreds of other Go books is that it is filled with good humor and inspiring advice. Once you get in 15-10 kyu range, this is a must-read.

Amazon

Golden Opportunities
by Rin Kaiho

A discursive book based around tesuji problems. However the author uses a fascinating collection of historical and fictional examples to provide a better explanation for these problems. This book would be particularly interesting to history lovers, as it draws fascinating parallels at times.

Yutopian

Appreciating Famous Games
by Shuzo Ohira

Enjoy 10 selected games from the past (before the Meiji era in Japan). A little historic background is given for every game, explaining the intrigues surrounding the players and their games. If you happen to think that something is more precious if there is a story to go with it, then this is the right book for you.

Amazon

The Magic of Go series