Oshirogo

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A castle game oshirogo (御城碁?), in relation to high-level go played in Japan during the Edo period, was an official match played by representatives of the four go houses in the castle of the shogun. In its original intention, the two players would play in the shogun's presence.

With the passage of the years, this became a formality: the players would replay a game that had already been played, and the shogun would often be represented by an official, rather than attend himself. The games themselves were, though, bitterly contested, since the castle games had a major effect on the prestige of the four houses. Throughout the Tokugawa shogunate there was an ongoing struggle to take control of the official positions of Meijin and godokoro.

Hundreds of game records of the castle games survive; a large collection was edited by Segoe Kensaku.

The game series was suspended in 1862 as the political situation became tense. Apart from one 1863 game between Hayashi Hakuei and Yasui Sanei, it was never resumed.

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