Participants listening to the explanation made by Ms Madoka
Professional Shogi (Japanese chess or also known as the General’s Game) player Ms. Madoka Kitao together with Japan Creative Centre held a Shogi Workshop at the centre itself on Saturday, 16th May.
Ms. Madoka Kitao was granted the ‘Lady Shogi Professional Player’ by Ikueikai of Japan Shogi Association in the year 2000. Since then, she has appeared on NHK television programme ‘Shogi Koza’, became an acting CEO of Nekomado - promoting the game internationally and published a free paper for amateurs called ‘Koma doc’, along with several books related to Japanese chess.
The workshop introduced ‘Doubutsu Shogi’ or ‘Animal Shogi’ – a small variant of Japanese chess, created by Ms. Kitao to beginners and experts. 23 participants were given the boards to practice and soon mingled with various other participants to liven competition.
Ms. Kitao’s speciality – traditional Shogi was introduced next. The Lady Shogi Professional Player simply explained the traditions and culture of the game, which intrigued participants due to the ‘more than a game’ factor. Thereafter, participants were called to circle a traditional Shogi-ban (Japanese chess board) set upon a makeshift tatami, and each had a turn to experience the charm of the game.
The stimulating game was a hit with the participants earning the event with comments such as, “This is the most fun by far”, “This is my first event and I look forward to coming back again”, “I think Shogi is a great workshop”, “Having the opportunity to have a hands-on learning experience” and “What attracted me the most to the workshop is the fact that Shogi is seen as an art form and culture, rather than a game”.
Ms Madoka giving her explanation on the Advanced Shogi Techniques
Participants trying out the Advanced Shogi Game