Festival of Japan in Durham a great success for Go!
Photos by Tom Coulthard, Alice Ambrose-Thurman and Chizu Kobayashi
On Saturday 11th October Durham Go Club ran a teaching event at Durham Oriental Museum, as part of their Festival of Japan - celebrating the teaching of Japanese at the University of Durham. The Japanese Embassy kindly sponsored Chizu Kobayashi-san, a 5d Japanese professional, to come to Durham to assist with this.
Kobayashi-san taught a range of people, from some of our stronger club dan players to complete beginners. We had around 20 club members turn out for the event to teach members of the public - most of whom had never come across Go before. Each new player was given a free paper Go set (a paper 9x9 with plastic counters and a leaflet outlining the rules, costing ~£1.20 to produce), and over 50 of these sets were given out over the course of the day. All of these players were individually taught the rules, and then paired off with an experienced player for some teaching games.
A wide range of ages were taught, from 4 year old children to pensioners. We had Hikaru No Go projected on the wall throughout the event, which was good at drawing the interest of children and young people, as were the Go-stone-like chocolate buttons that all new players were given a packet of. The Durham Go Club themed Go t-shirts also caught quite a few people's attention - the latest shirt has the slogan 'Taking Liberties', with a suitable problem.
We presented Kobayashi-san with some Lindisfarne fudge, and she kindly presented the club with some Japanese fans.
The event was a big success, with several people saying that they'd be interested in playing again in the future. The Oriental Museum thought that it was one of their most successful events in some time, and have said that they would be keen to welcome us back.