#39 Assembly Goban Signed by Yasui Sentetsu


Assembly Goban signed by Yasui Sentetsu (the 6th head of the Yasui house) said to be made by the Edo era goban master Takanashi Kiyoe
江戸碁盤師 伝高梨清兵衛 六代安井仙哲記囲碁式揮毫 組立碁盤

The dimensions of the goban:
Leg Height:15.6cm
Surface of the Goban:36.4×33.2cm
(So basically it’s quite a bit smaller than the normal-size Japanese goban)

This set was recently auctioned on Yahoo JP and ended up over JPY500,000 including tax. It was way above my budget so I didn’t even try. Not only is the construction interesting but there is also a whole essay on the back written by Yasui Sentetsu, the sixth head of the Yasui house. There is not much information in English available on this historical go personality. No one even knows when he was born and he only lasted a few years as the head of the Yasui from 1775-1780 as a 7th dan. He is probably best known for having picked a genius as his successor, Senchi Senkaku aka O-Senchi who became the 7th head of the Yasui house upon the death of Sentetsu in 1780. Please check out my writeup of “Games of the Sage – Yasui Senchi” if you would like to find out more about O-Senchi.

I’d love to find out more about what Yasui Sentetsu wrote on the back of the goban but I can’t even read typewritten Japanese, much less handwritten. So if anyone would like to try to give us a nice translation of the essay, please do let us know what it says in the comments section.

The inside bottom of the wooden box for holding the go bowls says the maker of the goban is Takanashi Kiyoe 高梨清兵衛. As the goban itself doesn’t have any marks from the maker, we can only attribute it as such and cannot be sure he is the actural maker. The go bowls are dated 嘉永六年 which corresponds with the year 1848. As we know Yasui Sentetsu died in 1780, this would seem to indicate that the go bowls were put together with the goban as a set many years after the goban was originally made.

There is another assembly goban which seems to be made by Takanashi Kiyoe shown at this Japanese webpage.

Also check out Master Hirai Yoshimatsu’s “Cat’s Paw Assembly Goban” for another look at an assembly goban.

For those who understand Japanese, I include the original Japanese description of this go set for your enjoyment.


六代安井仙哲(やすい せんてつ、生年不詳 – 1780年8月4日(安永9年7月4日)は、江戸時代の囲碁棋士で、春哲仙角門下にて原仙哲を名乗っていたが、1748年(寛永元年)に仙角の跡目として御城碁に初出仕、井上春碩因碩に三子にて3目勝。1767年(明和4年)に本因坊察元が名人に就くと、察元に争碁を求めるが、跡目であるために資格なしとして認められなかった。1775年(安永4年)に仙角が退隠し、家督を継いで安井家六世となるが、1780年(安永9年)に死去。法名は慈雲院隆圓日覺信士。養子としていた坂口仙徳の子の仙知が、跡式として安井家を継いだ。御城碁は39局を勤めた。

碁笥はそれぞれ蓋裏に「嘉永六年癸丑晩秋 巖亭 言三造焼」、碁笥裏には「長好庵弓月」と長好の銘があります。

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2 Responses to #39 Assembly Goban Signed by Yasui Sentetsu

  1. fullmeta1 says:

    This set is simply amazing! Do you any idea what wood was used?

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