Meijin (shogi)

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Meijin (名人) is one of the 8 titles in Japanese professional shogi, and is the most prestigious title, along with Ryūō. The word meijin (名 mei "excellent, artful", 人 jin "person") refers to a highly skilled master of a certain field (the various arts found in traditional Japanese culture, such as the Japanese tea ceremony, go, competitive karuta, and rakugo).[1]

History[edit]

The Meijin institution started in the 17th century (Edo period), and for around 300 years (1612–1937) was a hereditary title that was passed from the reigning Meijin upon his retirement or death to another selected from three families, as deemed to be worthy.[2][3] This is known as the Lifetime Meijin system (終生名人制). In 1935, however, the Japan Shogi Association (日本将棋連盟, Nihon Shōgi Renmei), or JSA, announced that it was abolishing the existing system of succession in favor of something more short-term and reflective of actual playing strength, known as the Real Strength Meijin system (実力名人制). In 1937, the reigning 13th Meijin Kinjiro Sekine[ja], who had received his title under the old system and was 70 years old at the time, voluntarily gave up his title so that a new Meijin could be decided through actual tournament play. Later that year Yoshio Kimura, who was a student of Sekine, became the first Meijin to gain the title based upon actual performance by winning a tournament which included eight other top players. From 1937 to 1947, the challenger for the Meijin title was determined through tournaments involving a select number of players. Finally, in 1947, the JSA officially established the preliminary round of ranking tournaments (順位戦, jun'isen) that it currently uses.[4]

Qualifying[edit]

The Meijin title is only open to professional shogi players that are members of the Meijin tournament system. This means that unlike some other tournaments amateur players, women's professional players, and regular professionals outside of the Meijin tournament system are not allowed to compete in the tournament.[5]

The Meijin ranking tournaments are divided into five classes (A, B1, B2, C1, C2) and players compete against others within their class in a round-robin tournament throughout the year. Players who perform well during their class tournament may be promoted to the next highest class while those who perform poorly may be relegated to the next lowest one.[6] New professionals are placed at the bottom of Class C2, and the top three players of Class C2 are promoted to Class C1 for the next year. Similarly, the top two players of Classes C1, B2, B1 are promoted to the B2, B1, and A, respectively, for the next year. The winner of the Class A earns the right to challenge the reigning Meijin title holder in a 7-game match for the title.[6] A new professional, therefore, needs at least five years experience (five successive promotions) after their debut before they can qualify to challenge for the title of Meijin.[7]

Lifetime Meijin[edit]

The first thirteen Lifetime Meijins (終生名人, shūsei meijin) were determined through succession.[8] The Lifetime Meijin as a competitive title, eisei meijin (永世名人), was established by the JSA in 1952. Players who capture the Meijin title five times (does not have to be consecutive) qualify to receive this title, but are only officially awarded it upon their retirement or death (with exceptions).[9][10]

Past winners[edit]

Below is a list of past Meijin title holders from 1937 when the new method for determining the title holder was established. The number in parenthesis represents the culmulative times the player had won the title to date.[16]

No. Year Winner Score Opponent Note
1 1937 Yoshio Kimura
2 1940 Yoshio Kimura (2) 4-1 Ichitaroh Doi
3 1942 Yoshio Kimura (3) 4-0 Tatsunosuke Kanda
4 1943 Yoshio Kimura (4) No match held. Kimura retained title by default. [b]
5 1944 Yoshio Kimura (5) No match held. Kimura retained title by default. [c]
6 1947 Masao Tsukada 4-2 Yoshio Kimura
7 1948 Masao Tsukada (2) 4-2 Yasuharu Ōyama
8 1949 Yoshio Kimura (6) 3-2 Masao Tsukada
9 1950 Yoshio Kimura (7) 4-2 Yasuharu Ōyama
10 1951 Yoshio Kimura (8) 4-2 Kōzō Masuda
11 1952 Yasuharu Ōyama 4-1 Yoshio Kimura
12 1953 Yasuharu Ōyama (2) 4-1 Kōzō Masuda
13 1954 Yasuharu Ōyama (3) 4-1 Kōzō Masuda
14 1955 Yasuharu Ōyama (4) 4-2 Kazukiyo Takashima
15 1956 Yasuharu Ōyama (5) 4-0 Motoji Hanamura
16 1957 Kōzō Masuda 4-2 Yasuharu Ōyama
17 1958 Kōzō Masuda (2) 4-2 Yasuharu Ōyama
18 1959 Yasuharu Ōyama (6) 4-1 Kōzō Masuda
19 1960 Yasuharu Ōyama (7) 4-1 Hifumi Katoh
20 1961 Yasuharu Ōyama (8) 4-1 Yuzoh Maruta
21 1962 Yasuharu Ōyama (9) 4-0 Tatsuya Futakami
22 1963 Yasuharu Ōyama (10) 4-1 Kōzō Masuda
23 1964 Yasuharu Ōyama (11) 4-2 Tatsuya Futakami
24 1965 Yasuharu Ōyama (12) 4-1 Michiyoshi Yamada
25 1966 Yasuharu Ōyama (13) 4-2 Kōzō Masuda
26 1967 Yasuharu Ōyama (14) 4-1 Tatsuya Futakami
27 1968 Yasuharu Ōyama (15) 4-0 Kōzō Masuda
28 1969 Yasuharu Ōyama (16) 4-3 Michio Ariyoshi
29 1970 Yasuharu Ōyama (17) 4-1 Rensho Nada
30 1971 Yasuharu Ōyama (18) 4-3 Kōzō Masuda
31 1972 Makoto Nakahara 4-3 Yasuharu Ōyama
32 1973 Makoto Nakahara (2) 4-0 Hifumi Katoh
33 1974 Makoto Nakahara (3) 4-3 Yasuharu Ōyama
34 1975 Makoto Nakahara (4) 4-3 Nobuyuki Ōuchi
35 1976 Makoto Nakahara (5) 4-3 Kunio Yonenaga
1977 Makoto Nakahara No match held. Nakahara retained title by default. [d]
36 1978 Makoto Nakahara (6) 4-2 Keiji Mori
37 1979 Makoto Nakahara (7) 4-2 Kunio Yonenaga
38 1980 Makoto Nakahara (8) 4-1 Kunio Yonenaga
39 1981 Makoto Nakahara (9) 4-1 Kiyozumi Kiriyama
40 1982 Hifumi Katoh 4-3 Makoto Nakahara
41 1983 Koji Tanigawa (1) 4-2 Hifumi Katoh
42 1984 Koji Tanigawa (2) 4-1 Hidemitsu Moriyasu
43 1985 Makoto Nakahara (10) 4-2 Koji Tanigawa
44 1986 Makoto Nakahara (11) 4-1 Yasuharu Ōyama
45 1987 Makoto Nakahara (12) 4-2 Kunio Yonenaga
46 1988 Koji Tanigawa (3) 4-2 Makoto Nakahara
47 1989 Koji Tanigawa (4) 4-0 Kunio Yonenaga
48 1990 Makoto Nakahara (13) 4-2 Koji Tanigawa
49 1991 Makoto Nakahara (14) 4-1 Kunio Yonenaga
50 1992 Makoto Nakahara (15) 4-3 Michio Takahashi
51 1993 Kunio Yonenaga 4-0 Makoto Nakahara
52 1994 Yoshiharu Habu 4-2 Kunio Yonenaga
53 1995 Yoshiharu Habu (2) 4-1 Taku Morishita
54 1996 Yoshiharu Habu (3) 4-1 Toshiyuki Moriuchi
55 1997 Koji Tanigawa (5) 4-2 Yoshiharu Habu
56 1998 Yasumitsu Satō 4-3 Koji Tanigawa
57 1999 Yasumitsu Satō (2) 4-3 Koji Tanigawa
58 2000 Tadahisa Maruyama 4-3 Yasumitsu Satō
59 2001 Tadahisa Maruyama (2) 4-3 Koji Tanigawa
60 2002 Toshiyuki Moriuchi 4-0 Tadahisa Maruyama
61 2003 Yoshiharu Habu (4) 4-0 Toshiyuki Moriuchi
62 2004 Toshiyuki Moriuchi (2) 4-2 Yoshiharu Habu
63 2005 Toshiyuki Moriuchi (3) 4-3 Yoshiharu Habu
64 2006 Toshiyuki Moriuchi (4) 4-2 Koji Tanigawa
65 2007 Toshiyuki Moriuchi (5) 4-3 Masataka Gōda
66 2008 Yoshiharu Habu (5) 4-2 Toshiyuki Moriuchi
67 2009 Yoshiharu Habu (6) 4-3 Masataka Gōda
68 2010 Yoshiharu Habu (7) 4-0 Hiroyuki Miura
69 2011 Toshiyuki Moriuchi (6) 4-3[17] Yoshiharu Habu
70 2012 Toshiyuki Moriuchi (7) 4-2[18] Yoshiharu Habu
71 2013 Toshiyuki Moriuchi (8) 4-1[19] Yoshiharu Habu
72 2014 Yoshiharu Habu (8) 4-0[20] Toshiyuki Moriuchi
73 2015 Yoshiharu Habu (9) 4-1[21] Hisashi Namekata
74 2016 Amahiko Satō 4-1[22][23] Yoshiharu Habu
75 2017 Amahiko Satō (2) 4-2[24] Akira Inaba
76 2018 Amahiko Satō (3) 4-2[25] Yoshiharu Habu

Records[edit]

  • Most titles overall: Yasuharu Ōyama, 18 [e]
  • Most consecutive titles: Yasuharu Ōyama, 13 in a row (1959-1971). [f]
  • Oldest player to win title: Kunio Yonenaga, 49 years 11 months (1993)[26]
  • Youngest player to win title: Koji Tanigawa, 21 years old (1983)
  • Oldest player to challenge for title: Yasuharu Ōyama, 63 years old (1986)
  • Youngest player to challenge for title: Hifumi Katoh, 20 years old (1960)
  • Most times recapturing title: Yoshiharu Habu, 3 [g]
  • Longest period between titles: Yoshiharu Habu, 6 years (1997-2002)

Players by Meijin class[edit]

Below is a list of professional players grouped by their class for the 77th Meijin league including their rank in dan as of 22 July 2018.[28] The current Meijin title holder is Amahiko Satō (who, therefore, is not listed in the A class below).

Other professional players not listed here do not participate in the Meijin league and are known as Free Class (フリークラス furii kurasu) players.[29] There were 24 such players as of 10 July 2018.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Although typically awarded upon retirement or death, a special exception was made for Ōyama and he was officially awarded the title while still active in special recognition of his excellent results in professional play, including being the Meijin for 13 years in a row from 1959 to 1971.
  2. ^ 12-player preliminary tournament held and top four finishers awarded "reserve qualifier" status. Each reserve qualifier then played a 3-game half-handicap non-title match against Kimura: Kimura alternated between giving a lance handicap and no handicap. Reserve qualifiers had to win their respective 3-game match to gain the right to challenge Kimura in a 7-game match for the title. (A playoff was to be held if multiple reserve qualifiers won their respective matches.) Since Kimura won all of the half-handicap matches, no reserve qualifier was able qualify as his challenger.
  3. ^ A tournament to determine a challenger for Kimura did start, but was cancelled while in progress due to the Second World War.
  4. ^ The JSA unable to come to terms with Asahi Shimbun, the match's sponsor, over the prize fund. The JSA requested that the total prize fund be increased from 11,000,000 yen to 30,000,000 yen, but Asahi Shimbun refused. Negotiations were held in attempt to find a compromise, but were unsuccessful and the Asahi Shimbun's sponsorship of the match was ended.
  5. ^ Nakahara is next with 15, followed by Kimura, Moriuchi, and Habu with eight apiece, and Tanigawa with five. Only Tanigawa, Habu and Moriuchi are still active.
  6. ^ Nakahara is next with nine in a row (1972-1981)
  7. ^ Habu lost the title for first time in 1997, but won it back in 2003. He lost the title again in 2004, only to recapture it for the second time in 2008. He lost title for the third time in 2011, but recaptured it again three years later in 2014.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ There is also an unrelated Amateur Meijin title that is awarded each year to the winner of the Amateur Meijin Tournament.
  2. ^ 組織概要: 創立・沿革 [Organization outline: Founding and history] (in Japanese). 日本将棋連盟. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  3. ^ 将棋の略史:家元の成立 [Brief history of Shogi: The Iemoto system] (in Japanese). Japan Shogi Association, Kansai Headquarter. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  4. ^ 名人戦・順位戦 [The Meijin Match and Jun'isen] (in Japanese). 日本将棋連盟. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  5. ^ For instance, the Ryūō title allows one top amateur player and one top women's professional to compete in the lowest bracket of the Ryūō tournament.
  6. ^ a b Shōgikai no Ichiban Nagai Hi: Dai Nanajūsanki A Kyū Jun'isen Saishūkyoku 将棋界の一番長い日: 第73期A級順位戦最終局 [Shogi's Longest Day: The Final Round of the 73rd Class A Ranking Class] (Television production) (in Japanese). NHK Educational TV. 29 March 2015. Event occurs at 8:33. 順位戦は全部で5つのクラスがあります。その中で一番上がA級です。そしてA級優勝者が名人に挑戦します。そして, 順位戦は各クラスとも一年間のリーグ戦です...成績上位者は上のクラスに行くことができるんですが, 成績が悪いと降級してしまういうわけなんです。[The are a total of 5 ranking classes. Class A is the top class and the winner earns the right to challenge the current Meijin. Each of the ranking classes lasts one year. Those who finish at the top of their respective class may be promoted to the next highest class, and those who finish at the bottom may be relegated to the next lowest class. 
  7. ^ 順位戦について [About the Jun'isen] (in Japanese). 日本将棋連盟. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  8. ^ Hosking, Tony (1997). The art of shogi. The Shogi Foundation. ISBN 978-0-95310-890-9. 
  9. ^ 永世称号の規定はどうなっているのでしょうか。 [What are the requirements for "lifetime titles"?] (in Japanese). 日本将棋連盟. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  10. ^ 歴代名人一覧 [List of Lifetime Meijin] (in Japanese). 日本将棋連盟. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  11. ^ 中原 誠永世十段・名誉王座が永世名人(十六世名人)を襲位 [Makoto Nakahara, Lifetime 10 dan and Lifetime Oza, awarded Lifetime Meijin title (16th Lifetime Meijin)] (in Japanese). 日本将棋連盟. 9 November 2007. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  12. ^ 中原誠十六世名人が引退へ [Makoto Nakahara, 16th Lifetime Meijin, announces retirement] (in Japanese). 日本将棋連盟. 12 March 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  13. ^ 谷川九段, 詰将棋ベスト100 永世名人作品集 [Tanigawa 9-dan, Tsume Shogi Best 100: Lifetime Meijin's Collection]. Asahi Shimbun Digital (in Japanese). 6 September 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  14. ^ 森内俊之名人、十八世名人の資格を獲得 [Moriuchi Meijin qualifies for 18th Lifetime Meijin title] (in Japanese). 日本将棋連盟. 30 June 2007. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  15. ^ 羽生善治、十九世名人の資格を獲得 [Yoshiharu Habu qualifies for 19th Lifetime Meijin title] (in Japanese). 日本将棋連盟. 17 June 2008. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  16. ^ 名人戦・順位戦過去の結果 [Meijin match and Jun'isen past results] (in Japanese). Japan Shogi Association. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  17. ^ "Moriuchi, Yonkiburi Mejin Kaerizaki Shōgi Meijinsen de Habu Kudasu" 森内, 4期ぶり名人返り咲き 将棋名人戦で羽生下す [Moruichi defeats Habu to reclaim Meijin title after losing it 4 years ago]. The Nikkei (in Japanese). Kyodo News. 22 June 2011. Retrieved 10 January 2010. 
  18. ^ Murase, Shinya (13 June 2012). "Shōgi Meijinsen, Moriuchi Meijin ga Bōei Dairokkyoku Seishi Yonshō Nihai" 将棋名人戦, 森内名人が防衛 第6局制し4勝2敗 [Shogi Meijin match: Moriuchi wins Game 6 to win match 4-2 and defend title]. Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese). Retrieved 10 January 2016. 
  19. ^ "Dai Nanajūikki Meijinsen / Jun'isen Nanaban Shōbu" 第71期名人戦・順位戦 七番勝負 [71st Meijin Match / Challenger Tournament] (in Japanese). Japan Shogi Association. Retrieved 10 January 2016. 
  20. ^ Yamamura, Hideki (21 May 2014). "Meijinsen: Habu Yonrenshō de Yonkan ni Aratana "Heisei Densetsu" Tanjō" 名人戦:羽生4連勝で4冠に 新たな「平成伝説」誕生 [Meijin Match: Habu wins four in a row, becomes a 4 crown. A new Heisei legend is born.]. Mainichi Shimbun (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 22 May 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  21. ^ Fukamatsu, Shinji (30 May 2015). "Habu Meijin 'Surōpēsu no Tatakai datta' Bōeisen kara Hitoya" 羽生名人 「スローペースの戦いだった」防衛戦から一夜 [Habu Meijin One Night After Defending Title: "The games were all slow paced"]. Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese). Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  22. ^ Yamamura, Hideki (1 June 2016). "Amahiko Sato beats Yoshiharu Habu to capture Meijin title in his first attempt". Mainichi Shimbun. Retrieved 3 April 2017. 
  23. ^ "Nijū-hassai Satō, Shin Meijin ni Habu Yaburi Hatsu Taitoru Shōgi Meijin-sen" 28歳佐藤, 新名人に 羽生破り初タイトル 将棋名人戦 [28-year-old Sato defeats Habu to win first major title and become new Meijin]. Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese). 1 June 2016. Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  24. ^ Murase, Shinya (6 June 2017). "Satō Meijin, Nijūdai Taiketsu Seishi Hatsubōei Shōgi Meijinsen Nanaban Shōbu" 佐藤名人, 20代対決制し初防衛 将棋名人戦七番勝負 [Shogi Meijin 7-game match: Satō Meijin wins the battle of the 20-somethings to defend title for first time]. Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 6 June 2017. Retrieved 10 July 2018. 
  25. ^ Yamamura, Hideki (20 June 2018). "Satō ga Sanrenpa Yonshō Nihai de Habu Kudasu" 佐藤が3連覇 4勝2敗で羽生降す [Satō wins for third consecutive time, defeats Habu 4 games to 2]. Mainichi Shimbun (in Japanese). Retrieved 21 June 2018. 
  26. ^ 米長邦雄さん死去 将棋永世棋聖・元名人 [Lifetime Kisei and former Meijin Kunio Yonenaga dies. ]. 朝日新聞 Digital (in Japanese). Tokyo, Japan: Asahi Shimbun. 18 December 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  27. ^ 山村, 英樹 (22 May 2014). 名人戦:羽生、4戦全勝で奪取 史上初3回目返り咲き [Meijin Match: Habu wins four of four to take title, first player in history to recapture title three times.]. 毎日新聞 (in Japanese). Tokyo, Japan: Mainichi Newspapers. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  28. ^ "Kishi Dētābēsu" 棋士データベース [Player database] (in Japanese). Japan Shogi Association. Retrieved 11 September 2017. 
  29. ^ "Furīkurasu Kishi (Nisenjūnananen Rokugatsu Tsuitachi Genzai)" フリークラス棋士一覧(2017年6月1日現在) [List Free Class Players (As of 1 June 2017)] (in Japanese). Japan Shogi Association. Retrieved 11 September 2017. 
  30. ^ "Dai Nanajūnanaki Meijinsen Jun'isen A Kyū" 第77期名人戦・順位戦 A級 [77th Meijin League Class A] (in Japanese). Japan Shogi Association. Retrieved 10 July 2018. 
  31. ^ "Dai Nanajūnanaki Meijinsen Jun'isen B Kyū Ichi kumi" 第77期名人戦・順位戦 B級1組 [77th Meijin League Class B1] (in Japanese). Japan Shogi Association. Retrieved 10 July 2018. 
  32. ^ "Dai Nanajūnanaki Meijinsen Jun'isen B Kyū Ni Kumi" 第77期名人戦・順位戦 B級2組 [77th Meijin League Class B2] (in Japanese). Japan Shogi Association. Retrieved 10 July 2018. 
  33. ^ "Dai Nanajūnanaki Meijinsen Jun'isen C Kyū Ichi Kumi" 第77期名人戦・順位戦 C級1組 [77th Meijin League Class C1] (in Japanese). Japan Shogi Association. Retrieved 16 July 2018. 
  34. ^ "Dai Nanajūnanaki Meijinsen Jun'isen C Kyū Ni Kumi" 第77期名人戦・順位戦 C級2組 [77th Meijin League Class C2] (in Japanese). Japan Shogi Association. Retrieved 22 July 2018. 

External links[edit]