1st and 3rd Thursday of the month, at the Japan Foundation’s library, IGO lovers gather to play this fantastic board game from East Asia.

It looks similar to CHESS in the west or SHATRANG (we call it ‘SHOGI‘ in Japan) in the east.

But, once you play it, you feel that it is completely different game which stimulates different parts of your brain.

If I am allowed to simplify to explain about it, it is a game played by two to compete wider space than the opponent. One party holds black stones, and the other holds white. On the board there are 19 vertical and 19 horizontal lines which constitute 361 dots. The contesters put their stone one by one on one of those dots so that they can create their own maximum spaces. Of course, you can (must) cut in other’s activities to secure their field, then severe battle breaks out!! Even though you make wider space than the opponent in particular area of the board, you may be in lesser position in the other area. That’s why you are required to train the grasp of whole situation to win.

There are many e-learning sites for IGO through which you can learn the rules and develop basic skills.

And we found a wonderful site for interactive learning in Arabic!! The owner who created this site, Mr. Mori was so kind to accept our link to the site.


Out of this interactive trial, you will get to know that it’s not difficult but very deep and philosophical game.

There are also many internet sites where you can actually play games on the net!

Here is an example: http://www.pandanet.co.jp/

However, no doubt it’s better and more fun to meet up with your Egyptian and Japanese friends and play games on real IGO board, using real stones.

We look forward to meet you at the Japan Foundation every 1st and 3rd Thursday at 18:00 (For June only, the 2nd meeting will be held on 24th., which is this Thursday!!).