Thursday, February 18, 2010

Shogi Sex Scandal

I started playing shogi soon after finishing the 81 diver TV series but quickly lost interest. The real world of shogi was gray and dull… filled with libraries filled with opening that needed to be studied much like chess. When I first played shogi I was shocked by the chaotic potential of drops, the ability to place your opponents captured pieces back on the board as part of your army, but centuries of play have created a huge weight of book knowledge players are expected to understand. This reliance on book knowledge destroyed my excitement for shogi but I realized that with its long history it must have some truly shocking and exciting masters. It must have its seedy and dangerous underside like in 81 diver. So I set out on my search for the Bobby Fischer of shogi - a dramatic controversial character to show me the passionate and dangerous side of the game.

What I found was Hayashiba Naoko. A female pro shogi player famous for her sex scandal with another pro player. What interested me about her wasn’t the scandal itself but how she has been changed by it over the years. The Japanese press showed little interest in her side of the story and she had to leave Japan to escape from the media maelstrom. After the scandal she posed for some nude photobooks taking advantage of her badgirl image.

In the present is where her story really gets interesting. She is the author of a comic book series called Shion no Ou which is about a female Shogi player trying to work through traumatic experience that happened years ago that haunts her daily life. No the story is not about her scandal but her characters definitely struggle with many of the same emotions that she has had to deal with over the years and I proud to see her get her life back on track and achieve such great heights as a creator and storyteller..

No comments:

Post a Comment