|Honorary Winners||Fujisawa Hideyuki
|Prize money||¥45 million
(as of 29 June 2011)
Kisei (棋聖) is an honorary title and go competition. The title, meaning Go Sage in Japanese, was a traditional honorary appellation given to a handful of players down the centuries. The element ki can also apply to shogi, and there were also recognized kisei in the shogi world.
Kisei is a Go competition organised by the Japanese Nihon Ki-in. The competition began in 1976 by the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper and is currently the highest paying competition in Japanese professional Go, paying ¥45,000,000 (approx. $557,000 as of 29 June 2011) to the winner in 2011. The word Kisei is Japanese for "Go Sage", which is why before the Kisei tournament began, the only players who were given the title "Kisei" were Dōsaku and Hon′inbō Shūsaku.
The holder is challenged by whoever wins the round robin league. Players can get into the round robin league by going through many preliminary tournaments. Once there is a challenger to compete against the holder, the winner is decided through a best of seven match. The games are played over two days and each player is given eight hours of thinking time. If a player qualifies for the Kisei league, they are automatically promoted to 7 dan. If that same player wins the league, a promotion to 8 dan is given. If that same player goes on to winning the title, they are promoted to 9 dan, the highest rank.
|1977||Fujisawa Hideyuki||4–1||Hashimoto Utaro|
|1983||Cho Chikun||4–3||Fujisawa Hideyuki|
|1986||Kobayashi Koichi||4–2||Cho Chikun|
|1994||Cho Chikun||4–2||Kobayashi Koichi|
|1995||Satoru Kobayashi||4–2||Cho Chikun|
|1996||Cho Chikun||4–3||Kobayashi Satoru|
|2000||O Rissei||4–2||Cho Chikun|
|2003||Yamashita Keigo||4–1||O Rissei|
|2004||Hane Naoki||4–3||Yamashita Keigo|
|2006||Yamashita Keigo||4–0||Hane Naoki|
|2010||Cho U||4–1||Yamashita Keigo|
|2013||Iyama Yuta||4–2||Cho U|
A Go player who has held the title for five consecutive years, or won the title a total of ten times or more, has qualified himself to become "Honorary Kisei" after retiring or after the age of 60.