New year’s Shogi ceremony

On January 5, I was able to attend a guest thanks to Terao Manabu, director of the NPO ISPS ( International Shogi Popularization Society ) To the Shogi New Year’s Ceremony in Japanese sashi hajime shiki 指し初め式. In this ceremony carried out by the priests of the temple next to the federation building, players who currently have a title present their respects to an altar with the form of a giant Shogi piece.

Sacerdote del templo Hatonomori

Satou Amahiko Meijin

Watanabe Akira Ryuuou

Moriuchi Toshiyuki

Aono Teruichi

At the end of the ceremony at the temple of Hatonomori, the audience went to the Shogi Federation. The next event was held in the room for special games located on the 4th floor of the building. This room can only enter authorized people so it is not usual to enter someone unprofessional. In the room had prepared a board surrounded by several zabuton (a cushion) where we had to sit.

In front of the board first, they sat the president of the federation and a girl to make a move each. At that moment they changed the seat and in the place of Tanigawa sat the current Meijin Satou Amahiko in front of a child. Move by move was changing the seat and even I had the opportunity to make a move.

Tanigawa Koji poniendo las piezas

Habu Yoshiharu Triple Crown

Goda Masataka Ousho

Satou Yasumitsu

Aono Teruichi’s move

Habu, Satou Amahiko, Watanabe, Tanigawa


After the move, I went to the room next door where I had prepared a small buffet to eat. In that buffet, there were several players as well as newspaper reporters with whom I had occasion to speak and exchange business cards.

It was really a great experience and I had the opportunity to talk with many professional players. Even some retired players who played chess when they were young.