The Game of Go

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A number of traditional practices in Japan have been used as aids in the search for enlightenment, such as the arts of flower arranging, archery, sword fighting, the tea ceremony, and karate. In addition to serving as paths to enlightenment, they can illuminate the Buddhist perspective. However, one major traditional practice in Japan associated with Buddhism for centuries and traditionally referred to as a “way” or do, (pronounced dao in Chinese), has been neglected by those seeking to explicate Buddhism. This is the game Westerners call “Go,” known in Japan as igo or kido, “the way of Go.” It provides a useful way of depicting and experiencing the fundamental aspects of life as Buddhists understand it.

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