Female Go players

players who can attend female Go tournaments

This is an article about the history of Female Go players.

Social background


Female Go players are viewed to be a minority. This is due to these reasons:

  • There are many male players but only few female players.
    • In Japan, there are only three female 8-dan players.[1] And there are no female 9-dan. In addition, there are no female winners at games without gender rules. Asami Ueno was the first female player who managed to be a finalist.[2][3]
    • In China, there was no female 9-dan before Rui Naiwei.[4]
    • Most players and winners at World championships[5] are male.
  • Not all female players are fairly paid. Joanne Missingham[6][7][8] is known for her protests to this issue.[9][10]
  • At most Go organizations, directors are only male.[11]

These are caused by many reasons. One factor is they retire earlier due to marriage, pregnancy and maternity.

Comparison with female shogi players


In Japan, Go players are always compared with shogi players. This is because newspapers like Asahi Shinbun treat them equal. But there is a big difference among female players. Female Go players usually belong to the same organization with others. But this does not happen for shogi. Female shogi players belong to the Ladies Professional Shogi Association (LPSA).[12] The others belong to the Japan Shogi Association (JSA).[13] Some LPSA players like Kana Satomi have tried to enter JSA. But currently, no one has entered.

Promotion of female players




In Europe, there were no notable female players before Svetlana Shikshina[14] and Diana Koszegi.[15] In order to increase female players, the European Go Federation is holding the European Womens Go Championship (EWGC) since 1996 and the European Pair Go Championship (EPGC) since 1997.[16][17]

Kansai Ki-in has eased the age rules to female players.[18] At Nihon Ki-in, there is a special exam for female players. Most female professionals (except Xie Yimin and Keiko Kato etc.) have got their pro status by this way.[19] In 2019, Nihon Ki-in has started a female player test system to give more support to them.[20] Nihon Ki-in is also sponsoring female amateur games.

Female Student Honinbo


This is a tournament operated with the All Japan Student Go Federation. Some winners have got pro status, or became top amateur players. Only players who cleared regional games can attend.

All Japan Female Amateur Go Championship


The All Japan Female Amateur Go Championship is the highest match for female amateur Go players. Some winners have became a pro. The next table shows the notable winners.

Year Winner
1965 Tomoko Ogawa[21]
1970-1971 and 1975 Kazuko Kanai
1977-1978, 1980, 1985 and 1987 Yoshiko Kamekura
1981-1984 Yasuko Yoshie
1990-1991 and 1993-1995 Akiko Sato
1997 Narumi Ohsawa[22][23]
2000-2001 Mieko Nakajima[24]
2002 and 2013 Maya Ohsawa (Narumi Ohsawa's sister. The Ohsawa sisters became the first sisters to win at here)
2003 Kaori Mukai (Chiaki Mukai's sister, now known as Kaori Mimura[25])
2004 Miori Shimosaka
2005 and 2007 Akane Ishii (currently known as Akane Tatsumi[26])
2014-2015 Akiko Fujiwara[27][28][29]
2016 Reina Oshima[30]
2017 Saeka Iwata[31]

Kaori Chinen, Yukari Yoshihara and Rina Fujisawa also joined this game.

  1. Kazuko Konishi, Kazuko Sugiuchi and Mika Yoshida
  2. senseis.xmp.net?UenoAsami
  3. Asami Ueno profile at Nihon Ki-in
  4. senseis.xmp.net?RuiNaiwei
  5. senseis.xmp.net?WorldAmateurGoChampionship
  6. senseis.xmp.net?JoanneMissingham
  7. Joanne Missingham on Instagram
  8. Joanne Missingham on Twitter
  9. "Joanne Missingham Stands up for Gender Equality in Go". American Go Association. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  10. Moskowitz, Marc (31 August 2013). Go Nation: Chinese Masculinities and the Game of Weiqi in China. University of California Press. p. 18. ISBN 978-0520276314.
  11. At Nihon Ki-in, there were no female directors before Chizu Kobayashi, Sachiko Hara and Tomoko Ogawa.
  12. LPSA website
  13. JSA website
  14. senseis.xmp.net?SvetlanaShikshina
  15. senseis.xmp.net?DianaKoszegi
  16. senseis.xmp.net?EuropeanWomensGoChampionship
  17. European Tournament Results by EGF
  18. "Kansai Ki-in player recruitment". Archived from the original on 2021-05-14. Retrieved 2020-08-11.
  19. Nihon Ki-in player recruitment
  20. Nihon Ki-in announcement
  21. Tomoko Ogawa profile at Nihon Ki-in
  22. Narumi Osawa profile at Nihon Ki-in
  23. senseis.xmp.net?OsawaNarumi
  24. Mieko Nakajima profile at Nihon Ki-in
  25. Kaori Mimura profile at Nihon Ki-in
  26. kansaikiin.jp/kisi_prof/tatsumiakane.html
  27. Waseda Weekly interview in 2018
  28. Tournament report article in 2018 Archived 2021-01-19 at the Wayback Machine by Asahi Shinbun
  29. Akiko Fujiwara at Sensei's Library
  30. senseis.xmp.net?OshimaReina
  31. kansaikiin.jp/kisi_prof/iwatasaeka.html