The big event for the 1st day was the Human shogi game between the female players Muroya and Nakamura.
They are both young female players. Muroya Yuki, born in Osaka, is now 24 years old. She became professional in 2010 and along with all his games she attends to many Shogi events and it makes her very popular with shogi fans. Nowadays she appears at the shogi TV program of the NHK channel. She is very active on twitter and posts many pictures you can follow her here.
Nakamura Momoko was born in Saitama and now is 29 years old. She became professional in 2007 and in 2011 she married a strong amateur shogi player (he was at the shoureikai but he didn’t get his 4dan grade). She combines her shogi activity with a part time job. She also has a twitter account.
The pieces for the first human shogi are personified by the high schoolers of the city of Tendo and the students of the technical school of Yamagata. Girls played as the pawns and the boys were the rest of the pieces.
This year weather was marvelous so the game was carried out at the top of the hill Maitsuruyama. If you ever are able to visit the city of Tendo I recommend you to use the shuttle bus.
Before the game, two vassals introduced their armies (the shogi pieces) to their feudal lord Oda Nobunaga. Oda was one of the most important feudal lords in Japan considered one of the unifiers of Japan along with Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu. Each vassal has an army (red and blue) and will fight using the shogi rules.
One of the “special” rules of human shogi is that all the pieces need to be moved at least one time so all the persons have the opportunity to participate in the game. Muroya had the red army and Nakamura the blue one. Every time a piece moved the taiko on the background played a march.
The game was explained by Abe Kenjiro 7dan with the help of the female players Shimai Saori, who played against the boy previously, and Madoka Kitao.
Since the game is set in an old era of Japan all the players try their best for speak “old” Japanese. Also, they refer each other using the Japanese honorific form of Dono, instead of the usual form of san.
From an elevated position, Muroya and Nakamura watch over their troops and every piece moved when they command.
It was a vibrating match and both players give the audience a good entertainment. With a sharp attack, Muroya was able to win the game against Momoko. Since all the pieces were needed to be moved at least once the game was slightly different than the usual games.
Muroya celebrating her victory.
The winner of the game distributes the “loot” will all the assistants to the game. They threw some food and “gold” coins.
Some more photos of the game:
More posts about the Tendo festival: