Hikaru's Go

"Hikaru no Go" just means "Hikaru's Go". Hikaru first arrived on the scene in December 1998. He made his first appearance in the weekly Jump comic for Japanese children. Soon he had his first book. Here is the cover:

Within a year he had 3 books out. Soon there was more than a dozen. Now there are 23. Hikaru became really popular when his anime series started. It was shown on Japanese television during the evening. It was watched by many children. Then they all wanted to play Go like Hikaru.

Hikaru's Story

Hikaru finds an old Go game board in the attic. Only he can see stains of blood on it. He rubs the spots and the spirit of Sai appears to him. Sai was a Go Master many hundreds of years ago. He died in shame and his spirit stayed trapped on the Go board. He can only escape by leading Hikaru to become a Go master too. Hikaru's adventures start when he is shown by Sai how to place the stones to beat child star Akira.

The Author

The author of "Hikaru no Go" was not a professional manga writer. She is called Yumi Hotta. She won a competition to invent a new story. The story was named "Hikaru no Go" and they got famous manga artist Takeshi Obata to do the drawings. The story was very popular.

Yukari, the Go Princess

Yukari Umezawa is a real life Go Princess. She is professional player in Japan. She was Go adviser to the Hikaru series. She is very popular with children and with older Go players too. She has two web sites of her own - but they are in Japanese language. The picture shows her when she came to Europe in 1999. In 2011 she started playing under her married name of Yoshihara.

How to learn Go

If you want to play go like Hikaru, and maybe someday be as good as Yukari, go back to the main EGF page and click on the "L" sign!

How to Find More about Hikaru

There are of course many web sites in Japanese about Hikaru, but if you search the web on "Hikaru no Go" you may be able to find sites in English or other languages, and possibly even download some of his adventures.

Buy the Books in English!

"Hikaru no Go" volume 1 in English came out in summer 2004, with other volumes appearing every four months or so, until the last volume (number 23) in 2011. It has also been translated into German, French and other main European languages. Maybe you could get volume 1 as a present? It can be bought from Amazon (search for "Yumi Hotta") or a good manga or Go book shop. The anime is also available on DVD (Area-1).

Here is a guide to episodes 1-4 (contains spoilers).