Go Sighting #24: My No. 40 Snow Grade Stones and Hon Kuwa Bowls

GS24-My size 40 snow-01
I finally have a dream set of No. 40 Snow Grade clamstone go set with Hon Kuwa (mulberry) bowls.

GS24-My size 40 snow-02
I was browsing at Kurokigoishi’s website in March and saw the special event which offered a pair of Hon Kuwa (mulberry) bowls for only JPY25000.

GS24-My size 40 snow-03
I thought that it sounded like a very attractive price for a pair of Mulberry bowls so I ordered a set. I had always wanted a pair of Mulberry bowls and here was my chance for a bargain. Well the bowls arrived but they weren’t perfect. There were some unattractive spots and one bowl looked like a small part had some wood putty filling. But nevertheless, they were still quite attractive for the price I paid. If I bought a perfect pair of mountain mulberry bowls which hold up to No. 40 stones from Kurokigoishi, it would probably cost JPY80,000 based on the prices shown on the page about their bowls.

So now I wanted to have a nice set of go stones to go along with my Mulberry bowls and I said, “Hey if the bowls could hold up to size 40, why not try for size 40.” And supposedly you need to buy snow grade to fit with the status of mulberry bowls.
GS24-My size 40 snow-04
So how much would a set from Kurokigoishi set me back? Looks like around JPY151,000 (OUCH!)

So I started looking around Japanese websites to look for a better bargain and ended up with this set. Let’s say that after paying all the various costs associated with obtaining this set, I managed to get the No. 40 snow grade go stones and the Hon Kuwa bowls for a tiny bit less than the cost of just the Kurokigoishi No. 40 snow grade go stones alone.

GS24-My size 40 snow-10
So this is what the stripes on one of my snow grade stone looks like.

The size of the stones looks good too with around 22mm diameter and definitely at least 11.3mm thickness.
(Kurokigoishi chart shows No. 40 stones as 11.3mm thick.)
Not sure if I took an accurate measurement of the thickness though because my stone looks like it might even be up to 11.9mm!!!

Size 40 snow grade Mexican clam go stones are probably as luxurious as I’m willing to buy.

Consider that in the Kurokigoishi’s Gallery of Wonderful Goods, a set of Hyuga Clamshell Go Stones, Snow Grade, Size38 ( Thickness: 10.7mm or more )will set you back JPY15,000,000 and a set of Hyuga Clamshell Go Stones, Snow Grade, Size40 ( Thickness: 11.3mm or more )is priced at “negotiable”, I’m definitely not in the market for such sized Japanese domestic produced clam go stones. But for those with deep deep pockets, do note that only a few sets of the No. 40 snow grade Japanese domestic clam go stones have been produced in the past 100 years of Hyuga Clamshell manufacturing history.

A couple pictures of my No. 40 snow grade stones on my one piece kaya as requested.

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4 Responses to Go Sighting #24: My No. 40 Snow Grade Stones and Hon Kuwa Bowls

  1. Robert E Stoller says:

    Dear Mr. T.Chan,
    This is a very good story! Thank you for sharing it. Could you post a few e-images of your S40Y stones “in position” on your one-piece Kaya table-top board? Thank you again, Robert E. Stoller (Anchorage, Alaska)

  2. Robert E Stoller says:

    Dear Mr. T. Chan,
    Thank you for adding these delightful images. This array of board, bowls and stones is a pleasure to behold. Each of these elements complements the other two perfectly, and as an ensemble they are magnificent. Thank you.
    Robert E. Stoller (Anchorage, Alaska)

  3. Andrew says:

    This is an amazing combination; stones, bowls, board.
    Do these stones wobble a lot when place on the board?

    I am interested in the technical aspect of your photgraphic equipment to take these photos.
    Are these photo taken with a digital camera? Lens brand and specification? Atificial light?
    Any close-up tubes being used?
    Thank you.


    • tchan001 says:

      The stones do not wobble a lot when placed on the board. But then I rarely use these to play actual games 🙂

      As to the technical aspect of my photographic equipment used to take these photos, I mainly just use an old Leica C-Lux 2 digital camera with artifical lighting. No special close-up tubes or anything like that. Just mainly zoom in at the angles I want from the distance I want. I then use irfanview to crop the photos and resize it smaller before uploading to the internet to save bandwidth.

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