Go Filmography - Oriental Films

Occidental Films Oriental Films TV Dramas Oriental Dramas Anime Other TV Various

23A) The Match 
     Year: 2023
     Director: Kim Hyung-joo
     Starring: Lee Byung-hun, Yoo Ah-in
     Source: Wikipedia
     Comment: This Korean biopic is set in the 1980s-1990s and tells the story of how 
       Cho discovers the gifted but untrained young boy, Lee Chang-ho, in an amateur 
       contest. He takes him under his wing to turn into a professional player. Conflicts 
       arise when the protégé later turns against his teachings. 
21A) Go Through the Dark 
     Year: 2021
     Director: Yunhong Pu
     Source: DOC NYC
     Comment: This Chinese film premiered at the 2021 DOC NYC film festival. In the   
       film, a blind Chinese boy is very skilled at Go. However Guanglin is being raised  
       by a single father with limited means and he faces prejudices against blind people.

14A) The Divine Move (Shinui Hansu)
     Year: 2014
     Director: Jo Bum-Gu
     Cast: Jung Woo-Sung, Lee Beom-Soo
     Source: Wiki IMDB
     Trailer: YouTube
     Comment: A gangster and Go movie. Professional Go player Tae-Seok loses his brother to infamous
       underground gambler Sal-Soo after losing a high-stakes game. Framed for the murder of his own
       brother and locked up in prison, Tae-Seok vows revenge and trains ferociously. After serving 
       his seven-year sentence, Tae-Seok gets in touch with his brother's former associate Tricks, 
       hermit and blind master player Jesus and skillful junkyard owner Mok-Su, and begins formulating
       a plan to get back at Sal-Soo and his men. Slowly penetrating Sal-Soo's inner circle and his 
       gambling joint, Tae-Seok eliminates Sal-Soo's men one by one. But when Sal-Soo discovers 
       Tae-Seok's true identity, one final game will seal the fate of the two men. Also each section 
       of the movie is labelled according to the various phases of a game, opening, counting, etc.
       (Korean Language - English subtitled version available.)  

13A) New World
     Year: 2013
     Directed by: Park Hoon-jung
     Cast: Lee Jung-jae, Choi Min-shik, Hwang Jung-min
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: This Korean gangster movie looks at the conflicts between the mob and the police 
       through the eyes of an undercover cop. In the trailer, a lady is seen sitting at a Go 
       board and later her opponent smacks the board sending the stones flying. 

13B) The Stone (Deo Seu-ton or Dol)
     Year: 2013
     Director: Cho Se-rae
     Source: IMDB
     Trailer: YouTube
     Comment: A gangster and Go movie. Coming to grips with the truth that he will never earn 
       a living playing Baduk, a young man's chance encounter with a local gangster finds him
       with a new pupil in Deo Seu-ton. This Korean drama is about the vastly different past 
       and future of the two men and contrasts Go to the gangster scene. At one point, while
       walking down a street, a character muses "If life is a game of Go, I wish I can place 
       my first stone again."

12A) Tenchi: the Samurai Astronomer (Tenchi Meisatsu)
     Year: 2012
     Directed by: Takita Youjirou
     Cast: Okada Junichi, Miyazaki Aoi, Sato Ryuta
     Source: IMDB
     Trailer: YouTube
     Comment: Also known as "Insight Into the Universe", this is a Japanese film about Yasui 
       Santetsu, a Go player and famous Japanese astronomer, better known as Shibukawa Shunkai. 
       The creator of the Japanese Jokyo calendar and the author of many books about astronomy, 
       he also played with his friend and rival, Honinbo Dosaku, in castle games. The famous 
       game between Dosaku and Santetsu, where Santetsu opened on tengen, is depicted in the film. 
       It stars Okada Junichi, a Japanese actor who is also a member of the pop group V6. The 
       trailer starts with shots of him holding a Go stone and playing the tengen move.

12B) Tokyo Newcomer 
     Year: 2012
     Directed by: Jiang Qinmin 
     Cast: Qin Hao, Chieko Baisho, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi
     Go Consultant: Li Ting 1p
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: Trailer YouTube 
     Comment: The latest film by Jiang Qinmin (who also directed "The Last Sunflower" and 
       "Sky Lovers") "Tokyo Newcomer" is "a touching drama about true communication,
       transcending national borders and generation gaps, through Go." Naturally it
       features quite a bit of Go. 

       Chinese Go genius Yoshiryu (Qin Hao) comes to Japan to hone his skills 
       in the game, but finds he's too busy earning a living to study Go at all.        
       One day he drops his Go set (in a red lacquer box) on the street and an old 
       woman hawking vegetables helps him pick them up. They become friends and so 
       he becomes a close friend of her grandson. The grandson has a certain coolness 
       towards Go and gets involved in a fight which changes the course of the story. 
       Later on it turns out the old women is a descendant of a prestigious Go family. 

       At 38 minutes in, Yoshiryu enters a amateur tournament and we see scenes of this 
       in progress in the ground floor rooms of the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya. In this scene 
       the main character is playing against Matsumoto Takehisa, 7p. 

       Later we see other games, including a game played in front of distinguished guests 
       with a proper goban and stones in an traditional Japanese building, as well as games
       at the woman's home, in a cubicle hotel and a Go club. 
       Another scene is filmed in the Nihon Ki-in's Go Museum. At one point Takemiya Yoko, 5p, 
       poses as a TV analyst.  

       Japanese with Chinese or English subtitles. 100 minutes.

11A) Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale (Sai De Ke Ba Lai)
     Year: 2011
     Directed by: Te-Sheng Wei
     Cast: Masanobu Ando, Umin Boya, Chi-Wei Cheng
     Source: IMDB
     Trailer: YouTube
     Comment: Taiwanese film set in the Japanese occupation of Taiwan when in 1930
       the local Seediq people rebelled. Visible in the extended film trailer 
       (4:21 in), in one scene an injured man talks leaning over a Go board with
       stones on. (Japanese and Seediq language with Chinese and English subtitles.)

11B) White Vengeance (Hong Men Yan Chuan Qi)
     Year: 2011
     Directed by: Daniel Lee 
     Cast: Shao-Feng Feng, Leon Lai, Hanyu Zhang, Anthony Wong
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: This tells the story of two brothers contending for supremacy 
       during the fall of the Qin Dynasty in the 3rd century BC. At a banquet
       advisors Fan Zeng (Anthony Wong) and Zhang Liang (Zhang Hanyu) play a 
       long Go match that is supposed to mirror the path the warring brothers 
       have set out on. They play on a row of metre high Go tables with over-
       sized grey boards, the biconvex stones held in metal stands, the moves 
       called out by the players as the Go master playing them all is blind.
       To remove captured stones they bang the table with a sword and catch 
       the stones as they fly in the air (see 71 minutes in)! The philosophy 
       of I Ching is mentioned during the match. As usual the scene
       ends up as a bloody sword fight with the tables being knocked over.
       (Chinese language.)
10A) 13 Assassins (Jusan nin no Shikaku)
     Year: 2010
     Directed by: Takashi Miike
     Cast: Koji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yusuke Iseya
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: A Japanese (with English subtitles) period Samurai movie set in 1844, 
       a remake of a 1963 film. 13 samurai assassins set out to kill the ruthless Lord 
       Naritsugu. No Go board can be seen, but 40 minutes in, before the 13 set off, 
       two men, Hanbei Kito and Shinza who he is visiting, talk about continuing a series
       of games of Go. They later fight to the death at the end of the spectacular battle 
          H: "Thought you had left." S: "If we had time, I'd enjoy a game of 'go'" 
          H: "I still lead in wins." S: "Leave our score aside until we meet again."   

10B) Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (Di Renjie zhu tongtian diguo)
     Year: 2010
     Directed by: Hark Tsui
     Cast: Andy Lau, Carina Lau
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: YouTube
     Comment: A Chinese detective thriller with lots of CGI and martial arts (English subtitles).
       Dee has to solve the mysterious deaths by fire that stop the inauguration of 
       Empress Wu. In one scene the Prince is sitting on a terrace with staff around him
       playing music and attending to him. He is seen clearing the board after a game and is
       discussing how he is going to succeed. As he talks an assassin kills him with an arrow
       from the roof above and he slumps on to the board revealing the stones are turquoise 
       and orange crystals. The board is the kind with black and white ornate sides, and a brown
       top with white lines.

10C) The Man from Nowhere
     Year: 2010
     Directed by: Jeong-Beom Lee
     Cast: Taek-Sik Cha
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: YouTube
     Comment: A Korean thriller about the drug trade in which at 20:40 in a man follows a girl 
       into a corner shop to find the old owner at his counter reviewing a game on his board. 
       He is holding a folded baduk magazine in his left hand and placing stones from wooden 
       bowls with his right. We see him a few times over the next minute and also a close up 
       of the edge of the board as money is placed on the counter. (English dubbed version 

08A) Rough Cut (Yeong-hwa-neun Yeong-hwa-da)
     Year: 2008
     Directed by: Hun Jang
     Cast: Ji-Sub So, Su-Hyeon Hong, Ji-Hwan Kang
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: Korean film about a gangster who wants to be an actor and an
       an actor who wants to be a gangster. In one scene, 77 mins in , a visitor to jail
       sticks a transparency of a Go game on the window between him and the
       inmate, and the inmate indicates a move that result in the capture of a group. 
       Later, at 82 minutes, we see the captured stones have been crossed out.

08B) The I-go King and His Son (Qi Wang He Ta Er Zi)
     Year: 2008
     Directed by: Wei Zhou
     Cast: Hai-Yan Meng, Song Sun, Cheng-Yang Wang
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: His friends call Liu Yishou, an amateur Go player, "the King of Go."
       Liu was laid off, and with no other skills to make a living, teaches the 
       strategic board game in a humble training school for children. Life has been 
       hard for Liu, but his son, Xiaochuan, has chosen to stay with him through the
       difficulties. On an unexpected occasion, Xiaochuan displays an amazing talent 
       for Go, and his father vows to encourage the further development of his game. 
       Along the way the father and son are confronted with challenges, but with courage, 
       persistence and profound love, they eventually arrive at the destination toward 
       which they were headed. 

07A) The Warlords (Tau Ming Chong)
     Year: 2007
     Directed by: Peter Chan and Wai Man Yip
     Cast: Jet Li, Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshiro
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: YouTube
     Comment: The movie is set in the 1860s during the Taiping Rebellion. 
       Of course there are battles and martial arts and a love triangle. 
       At 56:19, for about a minute, two of the Emperors' officials are 
       talking while playing Go, whilst a third sits back and discusses 
       with them. They are using their moves to refer to the fate of General
       Pang (played by Jet Li). We see a grey board from above and Chinese 
       stones, and they play a few moves, each with a sharp click.

07B) The Yakiniku Movie: Bulgogi (Yakiniku Muubii: Purukogi) 
     Year: 2007
     Directed by: Su-yeon Gu
     Source: IMDB
     Watch Clip: YouTube
     Cast: Ryuhei Matsuda, Yu Yamada, Arat
     Comment: A Japanese Comedy about a small-town traditional restaurant trying to make
       it big in a TV cookery contest. In the restaurant scenes the old master cook and 
       his friend are seated at a table with a goban and wooden bowls in it. They are
       constantly pondering the game, without a single move played during the movie. 

08A) Hana - the Tale of a Reluctant Samurai (Hana Yori Mo Naho)
     Year: 2006
     Director: Koreeda Hirokazu 
     Cast: Okada Junichi, Miyazawa Rie
     Source: Wiki
     Trailer: YouTube
     Comment: In this period drama the main character, Sozaemon "Soza" Aoki, moves to an Edo slum 
       seeking revenge after the death of his father, but gets involved with the locals and has
       second thoughts. Go has a small but very important part to play, as it forms the link 
       between Soza and his deceased father. The first Go scene is 21 minutes in where Go is 
       played with shabby equipment consistent with the slum, for instance the Go ban sits straight
       on the tatami and at 40 minutes Soza manages to balance 5 thin stones on each other whilst
       contemplating. Another game is in progress at night, about 98 minutes in, mostly with 
       distant views or head shots of the players talking, but also one close up of the board 
       position. (Japanese, dubbed English version available.)

06B) Ten Nights of Dreams (Yume Juu Ya)
     Year: 2006
     Director: Various - Dream 9 Miwa Nishikawa
     Cast: Tamaki Ogawa, Pierre Taki
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: YouTube
     Comment: This film is based on a short story collection by Natsume Soseki. It is split into 
       ten dreams; each bizarre and often gory dream sequence is by a different director. The 
       ninth dream (starts at 85 mins) is about the affect of war on a family. In it the mother
       is seen clapping to start prayer, but then taking a white Go stone from a pouch and
       laying it on the floor. As in all good dreams, this happens more than once. At the end
       of the dream (at 90:35 mins) we see a photo of the family, on the floor, next to black
       and white stones. (Japanese language, English subtitled version available.)

06C) The Go Master (Wu Qingyuan) 
     Year: 2006
     Directed by: Tian Zhuangzhuang
     Cast: Chang Chen
     Source: Movie Homepage IMDB
     Comment: The life of Go Seigen (Wu Qingyuan), produced in China, was on
       international release in Autumn 2006 and shown at various film festivals,
       and is available on DVD with English subtitles (107 minutes). 

       Go Seigen needs no introduction as one of the top players of the last
       century. The film tells his story how as a Chinese prodigy he has to 
       move to Japan to compete. When the two countries are at war his 
       allegiances are torn, but he remains in Japan and later gets sucked
       into a religious cult which tries to exploit his celebrity. However 
       he loyalty to the discipline of his vocation as a Go player. The film 
       has been described as "visually elegant and psychologically astute",
       but other reviews say the film was not up to expectations. 

       We see various professional Go games being played, a very elegant nigiri, 
       game records being studied, and a Go pupils' study group. 

       The film starts with modern-day footage of Go Seigen and his family
       in a garden discussing how the monkeys steal the persimmon fruit.

06D) The Host (Gwoemul) 
     Year: 2006
     Directed by: Joon-ho Bong
     Cast: Kang-ho Song, Hie-bong Byong, Hae-il Park
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: A Korean monster movie. Go can briefly be seen about 26.5 minutes into the movie,
       when a large TV set is turned on and before the channel is changed. A large image of a
       demo board with a game reviewer playing a stone is seen behind the man in rescue clothing
       who is operating the TV. The game shown is believed to be a review of O Meien (white) 
       verses Pak Yeong-hun in the 1st Zhonghuan Cup from 2004.

05A) Duelist (Hyeong-sa) 
     Year: 2005
     Directed by: Myung-se lee
     Cast: Ji-won Ha, Sung-kee Ahn, Dong-won Kang
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: Joseon dynasty Korean sword-fighting movie where the villain, who conspires
       against the government, plays Go. About 70 minutes in he is seen capturing a white 
       stone. At about 90 minutes he plays a move, but is disturbed by a noise tips the 
       ban over scattering stones.

04A) The Taste of Tea (Cha no Aji)
     Year: 2004
     Directed by: Katsuhito Ishii 
     Cast: Tadanobu Asana, Takahiro Sato
     Source: Wikipedia IMDB
     Comment: Although Go is not the only focus of the film, it is one of its essential 
       ingredients and appears more often than in other films like Pi and A Beautiful Mind. 

       The film is concerned with the lives of the Haruno family, who live in rural Tochigi 
       prefecture, the countryside north of Tokyo. Nobuo is a hypnotherapist who teaches his 
       son, Hajime, to play Go. Hajime becomes an excellent Go player, but he has a rough 
       time with girls and puberty. Nobuo's wife, Yoshiko refuses to be an average housewife, 
       and works on animated film projects at home. She uses assistance from Grandfather Akira,   
       an eccentric old man who is a former animator and occasional model. 

       Uncle Ayano, a sound engineer and record producer, moves in with the family. He is 
       looking to restart his life again after living in Tokyo for several years. Meanwhile, 
       Yoshiko's daughter Sachiko, believes that she is followed around everywhere by a giant
       version of herself, and she searches for ways to rid herself of it. Go is played variously 
       at school, at home and in Go clubs.

03A) Onmyoji II 
     Year: 2003
     Directed by: Yojiro Takita
     Cast: Mansai Nomura, Hideaki Ito, Kiichi Nakai
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: YouTube
     Comment: Japanese historical movie in which demons dismember Japanese nobles. At 6:39 in the
       main character, Abe no Seimei, plays Go against a spirit (a shikigami) in the form of his
       friend Minamoto no Hiromasa, a monk. The goban has tall thin legs and they have bowls
       on the floor. As a white stone is played with a click, the opponent turns into a small 
       paper cut-out man.

02A) Hero (Ying Xiong)
     Year: 2002
     Directed by: Yimou Zhang
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: The main character fights against a bad guy and then plays a game
       that could be Go, but more likely Five-in-a-Row, outside on a large board,
       over which it rains, placing the stones inside the raised squares with 
       strange long forks.

02B) So Close (Chik yeung tin sai)
     Year: 2002
     Directed by: Corey Yuen
     Cast: Shu Qi, Zhao Wei, Karen Mok
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: In this action movie from Singapore, where a girl cop takes on two 
       assassin sisters, there is a very short scene two guards are shown playing 
       Go on a mega screen inside a very high tech building. 

02C) When the Last Sword is Drawn (Mibu Gishi Den)
     Year: 2002
     Directed by: Yojiro Takita
     Cast: Kiichi Nakai, Koichi Sato, Yui Natsukawa
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: Japanese samurai movie in which at 46:03 minutes we see a goban with two bowls 
       of stones on top of the board, in the background. At 48:51 we see the local lord playing
       Go on a goban, whilst conversing about his opponent's impending marriage.  

01A) Volcano High (Hwasango)
     Year: 2001
     Directed by: Tae-gyun Kim
     Cast: Hyuk Jang, Min-a Shin, Su-ro Kim
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: YouTube
     Comment: 23:00 in, there is a long scene (2.5 minutes) where two teachers, Director
       Jang Oh-Ja and Subdirector Jang Hak-Sa, play Go together. A third man pours tea
       for them. It is quite a funny scene, at one point the director claims he can move
       the stones with his will-power and the board (seen from above) starts to shake. 
       The sub-director grabs the sides to stop it, revealing the Goban having three
       carved symbols on the side and the director removing his hands from the legs. 

98A) Hitman or Contract Killer (Sat Sau Ji Wong)
     Year: 1998
     Directed by: Wei Tung
     Cast: Jet Li, Simon Yam
     Source: IMDB
     Trailer: YouTube
     Comment: The final fight is staged in a Japanese style room where there
       is a goban, with wooden bowls and stones on the top (seen from 71:25).
       In the fight, a man is hurled across the room towards the goban 
       (at 74:13) and later there is a brief glimpse of the goban being 
       tipped over and used to hit the man. After this Go stones are seen
       scattered on the floor. In an earlier scene set in the room (seen in 
       the trailer) the goban is in the background, with bowls on the floor,
       and two women are lying down in the foreground.

97A) Yapian Zhanzheng (The Opium War)
     Year: 1997
     Directed by: Jin Xie
     Cast: Bao Guoan, Debra Beaumont
     Original music by: Fuzai Jin
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: YouTube Part 1 Part 2
     Comment: 68:50 into the film (14:20 in part 2) Lin Xezu is playing Go in a 
       pavilion. The board is thin and sits on a round stone table with a central 
       leg. There are wooden bowls, but the edge-on view does not show the position.
       However the moves are played very elegantly as he fans himself. A man runs
       up to informed him about the arrival of the British fleet. The other player
       tells him to carry on playing. The film is interesting, especially as it 
       shows the Opium War period seen from the Chinese side. As a consequence of 
       the Chinese defeat, Hong Kong became a British colony. Bilingual Mandarin 
       and English, with both subtitled for Cantonese viewers. 

96A) Qi Yuan - Chun Qiu (Go Courtyard - Fall, Spring)
     Year: 1996?
     Comment: This movie has more Go in it than possibly any other!
       It is a 'bowl-boiler' Chinese-made-for-TV Go movie (four hours,
       five cassettes). The movie takes place in a palace during the
       Sung Dynasty period c. 1100 A.D. and is based on fact in a
       loose way. In the southern Manchurian kingdom of Liao, everyone
       in the court is mad about Go and in the courtyard there is a Go
       school. A princess is a top player. The top player in the Sung
       court is a man (a 'prince') who is looking for someone to play
       and ends up, so to say, 'courting' the princess. There is an 
       ongoing palace coup plot, of course, and the servant girl of 
       the princess is forced to play Go for her life. 

96B) Three Friends (Sechinku)
     Year: 1996
     Directed by: Soon-Rye Yim
     Cast: Hyun-Sung Kim, Hee-Suk Jung, Jang-Won Lee
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: Korean film about three young friends. One character is obsessed with

94A) Deadful Melody
     Year: 1994
     Directed by: Min Kun Ng
     Cast: Brigitte Lin, Biao Yuen
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: YouTube
     Comment: At 62:40 of this period fantasy adventure there is a one minute 
       scene where an old man in red and a younger man in black discuss a marriage
       while sitting at a table with refreshments and a grey thin Go board. There
       is a game underway but no more moves are played. The one in black crushes a 
       black stone with his fingers before magically rushing off to sort the marriage.

94B) Jing Wu Ying Xiong (Fist of Legends)
     Year: 1994
     Directed by: Gordon Chan
     Cast: Jet Li, Siu-hou Chin
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: The film is set in pre-Japanese invasion China. It contains 
       a two minute scene (about 75 minutes in) where the Japanese Ambassador 
       is seated at a Go ban with Uncle Funakushi, who is described as samurai 
       clan. However they are clearly playing 5-in-a-row not Go (White wins on 
       the second move shown), however the ban is black with white lines and 
       white decoration on the sides, and they have Chinese-style stones and  
       brown bowls. They discuss impending war as they tidy the stones 
       (different amounts are tidied depending on camera angle). Later the ban 
       is briefly seen again in a fight sequence. The film is dubbed English, 
       but a subtitled version refers to the game as Chess.

93A) You Seng (Temptation of a Monk)
     Year: 1993
     Directed by: Clara Law
     Cast: Joan Chen, Michael Lee, Lisa Lu
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: Excerpt on YouTube
     Comment: Set in 7th century China and featuring a monk, forbidden love and the 
       usual warfare, there are three Go scenes. In one scene a man is seen studying 
       moves (replaying a game) on a goban while a maid looks on; he tips the goban 
       over towards the camera in frustration. In another two men are seated on the 
       floor playing and placing the stone very elegantly.
92A) Sex and Zen (Yu pu tuan zhi: Tou qing bao jian)
     Year: 1992
     Directed by: Michael Mak
     Cast: Lawrence Ng
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: A Go board can sometimes be seen. 

92B) Tui Shou (Pushing Hands)
     Year: 1992
     Directed by: Ang Lee
     Cast: Bin Chao, Victor Chan,
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: This movie features a master of the martial art called 
       Pushing Hands who moves to New York where there is a clash of
       cultures. There is a scene where the father and son are playing
       Go and the son slaps a stone down (like a surprise checkmate)
       and captures a big group.

89A) Long Xing Tian Xia (The Master)
     Year: 1989
     Directed by: Tsui Hark
     Cast: Jet Li
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: Set in LA, somewhere in the film you see a Go board. 

88A) Men Behind the Sun (Hei Tai Yang 731)
     Year: 1988
     Directed by: Tun Fei Mou
     Cast: Gang Wang, Hsu Guo, Tie Long Lin, Zhaohua Mei
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: YouTube
     Comment: Set in Manchuria during WWII at the notorious Japanese experimentation camp 731,
       Go equipment appears in a couple of scenes. 38.5 minutes in, Ishikawa and the medical
       painter are playing Go at the side of a room where the soldiers are eating and drinking. 
       They argue over the morality of their squadron's experiments on the Chinese people, or 
       "maruta" as they were often called. There is no good view of the board as people sit
       in the way. At about 44 minutes, there is a goban on the floor of the geisha house 
       General Ishii visits. He plucks hair from the armpits of a young courtesan which causes
       her to kick a bowl of stones off the goban and the white stones spill all over the 
       floor as the white ceramic bowl breaks; this inspires his "low temperature pottery bomb".

87A) Ninja 8: Warriors of Fire
     Year: 1987
     Directed by: Godfrey Ho
     Cast: Peter Davis, Jeff Houston, Glen Carson
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: A cheesy Hong Kong film, available with English dubbing, this features western 
       ninja-fighting action. At 22:30, we get glimpses of the ninja master seated in his house 
       studying a game on a flat Go board, with white and black bowls. A woman, who is a 
       potential new ninja, interupts him and the board position is seen as he stands up. 
85A) Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
     Year: 1985
     Directed by: Paul Schrader
     Cast: Ken Ogata
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: This beautiful film is based on the works of Yukio Mishima, 
       At 23:28 in the master can be seen kneeling at a Goban in a tatami room.
       However mostly Go features in the deleted scenes section of the DVD. The 
       scene shows the main character of Yukio Mishima's 'Temple of the 
       Golden Pavilion' talking with his meditation master, while the 
       master is studying a Go board. One shot in the scene is of nothing
       but the board. In order to exaggerate the sense of perspective, the 
       Go board appears to be trapezoidally shaped and different sized stones
       are used across the board (larger stones are nearer). Since this portion 
       of the film is purportedly lifted from Yukio Mishima's novel, it 
       presumably features in that. The director's comments suggest that he 
       regretted cutting the scene, but it caused some introductory material 
       in the film to be "disproportionately long". 

82A) The Go Masters (Mikan no Taikyoku)
     Year: 1982
     Directed by: Ji-shun Duan, Junya Sato
     Cast: Rentaro Mikuni
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: A "Gone with the Wind" all about Go, the film examines how the 
       relationship between a Chinese and a Japanese Go player changes because 
       of events during the war, explained using flash backs when they meet 
       again after the war has ended. Many Go scenes including clubs and 
       tournaments, and a scene where the Chinese player prefers to have his 
       Go fingers cut off than play the enemy, the Japanese. 123 minutes.
77A) Thousand Miles Escort (Ren Ba Zhao)
     Year: 1977
     Directed by: Teng Hung Hsu
     Cast: Liang Chia, Ying Bai, Michelle Yim 
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: YouTube
     Comment: A low budget Kung Fu movie which features, among other villains, a pair of 
       Go-playing brothers who are hired to kill the protagonist and the orphan he protects. 
       At 56 mins in they are sitting at a round table, with a thin board and a large lamp on 
       it, when a man comes to hire them and dumps his chest of gold on the table. When it is 
       removed, their first move as assassins is mapped out on the board.

75A) The Valiant Ones (Zhong Lei Tu)
     Year: 1975
     Directed by: King Hu
     Cast: Feng Hsu, Ying Bai, Roy Chiao
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: YouTube
     Comment: Historical drama where the Chinese try to defend their shores 
       from Japanese pirates. The characters are colour-coded (black or other 
       dark shades for the Chinese, white for the Japanese). At 21:53 two people
       are seen seated and playing Go in the background of an interrogation scene.
       From 29:04 a Go board is used by the Chinese to keep track of soldiers 
       prior to battle by placing black and white stones to represent each side
       (last seen at 33:52). The battles themselves are structured like a game. 
       (Chinese with English subtitles.)

73A) The Fate of Lee Khan (Ying Chun Ge Zhi Fengbo)
     Year: 1973
     Directed by: King Hu
     Cast: Angela Mao, Hu Chin, Feng Tien
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: At 1:08:20 the hero brings a Go set to the table in the inn. 
       He tries to learn the game from another, but two soldiers take over 
       the board and play a few strange opening moves. At 72:10 we get a close
       up of the almost full board with some surrounded stones on it. The hero 
       tries kibitzing and is told not to meddle.

72A) Fist of Fury (Jing Wu Men) also known as The Chinese Connection
     Year: 1972
     Directed by: Wei Lo
     Cast: Bruce Lee, Nora Miao, James Tien
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: In one scene characters can be seen putting stones on a board. In a fight
        scene the board is on a spindly table and the board is thrown in someone's face.

72B) Five Fingers of Death (Tian Xia Di Yi Quan)
     Year: 1972
     Directed by: Chang-Hwa Jeong
     Cast: Lieh Lo, Wang Ping
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: A Hong Kong martial arts film about two rival dojos, with minimal 
       Go content, if any. 

70A) Zatoichi Abare-Himatsuri (Adventures of Zatoichi 21 - Zatoichi At the Fire Festival)
     Year: 1970
     Directed by: Kenji Misumi, Nakadai Tatsuya
     Cast: Shintarou Katsu
     Source: Zatoichi homepage IMDB
     Watch: YouTube
     Comment: There is a scene that lasts about 90 seconds at 77:03, where Zatoichi plays
       the Big Boss, who is also blind, in a game of Go. The scene opens in silhouette 
       and then moves in so we can see the goban and the position clearly. They know where
       the moves have been played by feel and sound; the moves are correctly played with a
       click. The boss does seem to rattle his bowl though and we get a close up of Zatoichi 
       picking a black stone from his elegantly lacquered and decorated bowl.  

       The boss drops a white stone into his left hand and then we see him play tiddlywinks
       to flick a black stone into Zatoichi's face. In retaliation Zatoichi then flicks a
       a stone to knock the last White move off the board and replace the lost black 
       stone in the correct position. They then both drink as the tension rises, but in
       the end they both laugh off the situation. 

67A) Dragon Inn (also Dragon Gate Inn, orig. Long Men Kezhan)
     Year: 1967
     Director: King Hu
     Cast: Lingfen Shangguan, Chun Shih, Ying Bai
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: YouTube
     Comment: This Taiwanese sword-play classic is set in 15th century China where an evil
       faction tries to elimiate the family of an executed rival. The clash occurs at the inn
       in the title when the evil gang come in contact with expert swordsmen on the side of good.
       At 14:45 in, the we see the local army camp with two soldiers seated with a Go board balanced
       on rocks and playing Go. The camera pans in for a couple of seconds as two moves are played,
       before a swordsman from the evil faction downs them with a single sword blow. One of the 
       players slumps over the board and second swordsman steps over the board to find their next 
       target. (Chinese Language with subtitles.)

64A) Kwaidan (Ghost Stories, orig. Kaidan)
     Year: 1964
     Directed by: Masaki Kobayashi
     Cast: Michiyo Aratama, Keiko Kishi, Rentaro Mikuni
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: The movie tells four horror stories from Japanese legends; the Go is
       in the first: "Black Hair".  The board position is just entering midgame, with 
       corner sequences played out and a very complicated fight in the bottom right 
       corner, but no play on the sides. The wife, born into wealth, is playing against a 
       courtesan. She rises, announces that she quits the game, and mutters "the same
       old boring game" as she exits the room. She proceeds to smack her sleeping 
       husband in the face with a fan and berates him for being obsessed with his first 
       wife and for having only married her for her money.

64B) Zatoichi Seki-sho Yaburi (Adventures of Zatoichi 9 - Zatoichi Demolishes the Barrier)
     Year: 1964
     Directed by: Kimiyoshi Yasuda
     Cast: Shintarou Katsu
     Source: Zatoichi homepage IMDB
     Watch: YouTube
     Comment: Zatoichi was a character in a number of Japanese samurai films; he was 
       called "the blind swordsman". In this film, 25:45 in, two men, the Oyabun (boss)
       and his adviser, who takes white, are playing Go in a typical tatami-matted room.
       The Oyabun slaps his stones down in a complaining manner, whilst the adviser holds
       the wrongly. When Zatoichi enters to ask some kind of favour, the chief samurai 
       arrives and he and Zatoichi draw their swords and the blades pass, but apparently 
       no contact is made. Both sheath their swords, and the conversation continues. 
       The proverbial comment is supposed to be made: "A Go player's concentration is 
       such that they will miss their own parents funeral when playing Go". Zatoichi 
       leaves and the Oyabun and the adviser exchange some words. The adviser then 
       plays his next move. The board collapses, having been sliced through the middle, 
       without any of the stones being disturbed. All the stones pour on to the floor.

62A) Autumn Afternoon (Sanma no aji)
     Year: 1962
     Directed by: Yasujiro Ozu
     Cast: Shima Iwashita, Daisuke Kato, Kyoko Kishida, Noriko Maki, Shinichiro Mikami
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: This film seems to consist entirely of men in meetings eating and drinking. 
       However in a three minute scene at 92 mins, two men are shown seated on the floor
       between a low refreshment table and an open screen. They talk and eat while playing
       stones on a Go ban. We see each player in turn, sometimes slapping a stone down and
       sliding it in to place, but we do not get to see the full position; the table is often 
       in the way so we often only hear their Go stones being played.

62B) Chushingura - Hana no maki yuki no maki
       (or 47 Ronin - note not the 1941 version)
     Year: 1962
     Directed by: Hiroshi Inagaki
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: The film is about 3.5 hours long. At 3 hours, towards the end of
       the climactic fight in the palace, a trapped samurai picks up a full size 
       floor Goban and hurls it at his attacker who deflects it with a 
       swipe of his sword. The victim then hurls a bowl of white stones 
       at him with no effect at all. The stones fly like snow flakes.
       Two of the attacker's buddies crash in and that's all for the victim.
       This scene is depicted on numerous woodblock prints. The story is 
       a cherished legend and is one of the more popular kabuki stories.

62C) Tsubaki Sanjuro
     Year: 1962
     Directed by: Akira Kurosawa
     Cast: Toshiro Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Keiju Kobayashi
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: Kurosawa classic featuring a samurai who saved a framed and
       imprisoned uncle. In a long sequence the main character rests next to a goban, 
       while others are rushing in and out, and then he perches atop it to instruct 
       his young samurai. 

58B) Night Drum (The Adulteress or Yoru no tsuzumi)
     Year: 1958
     Directed by: Tadashi Imai
     Cast: Rentaro Mikuni, Ineko Arima, Masayuki Mori
     Source: IMDB
     Trailer: YouTube
     Comment: In this samurai film, involving alleged adultery and the attempt to prove
       innocence by a samurai's wife, an early scene (about 4 mins in) has the travelling 
       party of samurai spending the night in an inn and two of them are briefly seen 
       playing  Go, first in the background and then slapping a stone on the ban in the 

58A) Borei Kaibyo Yashiki (Mansion of the Ghost Cat)
     Year: 1958
     Directed by: Nobuo Nakagawa
     Cast: Toshio Hosakawa
     Source: IMDB
     Trailer: YouTube
     Comment: A violent ghost story featuring a samurai and haunted cat. 
       The trailer shows two men in a tatami room at a goban decorated with
       flowers on its side. One of the men is then run through by the other's
       sword and he grasps stones as he slumps in agony on the goban. 

54A) Godzilla (Gojira)
     Year: 1954
     Directed by: Ishiro Honda
     Cast: Akira Takarada, Momoko Kouchi, Akihiko Hirata,
       Takashi Shimura, Fuyuki Murakami, Sachio Sakai, Toranosuke Ogawa
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: The first classic Godzilla movie, in which a scene has 
       two sailors playing Go.

51A) Bakushuu (Early Summer)
     Year: 1951
     Directed by: Yasujiro Ozu
     Cast: Chikage Awajima, Setsuko Hara
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: YouTube
     Comment: Yasujiro Ozu's typical (that is, outstanding) family drama, known in the 
       west as "Early Summer". It is a story of romance, arranged marriages and family
       life in post-war Tokyo. The one Go scene at 48:25 has the head of the household, 
       a doctor, playing Go with a friend, talking, smoking and drinking, on a Sunday in,
       of course, early summer. The are seated with the goban on a table and a close up
       of the player with his back to the camera shows he holds the white stones properly
       whereas the other does not. At one point they discuss if a stone has moved and 
       the doctor says he has left his house as it is full of children (playing with an
       electric train set it turns out). 

51B) Genji Monogatari
     Year: 1951
     Directed by: Kozaburo Yoshimura
     Cast: Kazuo Hasegawa, Michiyo Kogure
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: YouTube
     Comment: At 16:15 in there is the famous Go scene. The camera pans through a rainy
       courtyard to where Lady Fujitsubo and her maid are counting a game of Go. The 
       maid counts to 26 points and says it looks like she has lost. They agree, stating
       her last move was an error. As the maid packs away the stones, Fujitsubo goes to 
       the window to look at the rain and finds Genji watching. The maid completes the 
       packing up and caries the board away after bowing, revealing the goban to have
       decorated sides and an ornate frame base. Genji then enters to have his way with

49A) Stray Dog (Nora Inu)
     Year: 1949
     Director: Akira Kurosawa
     Cast: Toshiro Mifune
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: This film features a homicide detective looking for a criminal. Ten
       minutes before the end he scans a railway station waiting room for suspects. 
       The two men who might fit the description are reading newspapers which 
       possibly have Go diagrams visible. (Japanese language.) 

44A) Army (Rikugun) 
     Year: 1944
     Directed by: Keisuke Kinoshita
     Cast: Chishu Ryu, Kinuyo Tanaka 
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: This wartime propaganda movie is famous for its extraordinary and 
       subversive final sequence in which a distraught mother Waka, played by Kinuyo 
       Tanaka, jostles through a flag-waving crowd to catch a final glimpse of her son 
       before he goes off to fight. In an earlier scene, her militaristic husband (played by 
       Ryu) sits at a goban whilst berating the son, who is still stationed at the base and 
       hasn't seen action. The position cannot be seen because of the angle but it appears 
       to be in endgame. Waka says to her husband's opponent: "Can't you let him win a 
       game for once? He takes it out on his family otherwise." 

42A) There was a Father (Chichi Ariki) 
     Year: 1942
     Directed by: Yosujiro Ozu
     Cast: Chishu Ryu, Shuji Sano, Shin Saburi
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: A story about the relationship between a widowed father and his son, 
       spread over several years. The father, a teacher, plays another at Go during a 
       school outing, whilst the unattended children go out on a boat with one of 
       them getting killed. This tragedy leads to the father and son being separated.
       After the drowning incident, the father is reunited with his ex-colleague more 
       than ten years later, when they run into each other at a Go club in Tokyo that 
       they both frequent.

Last updated Tue Oct 03 2023.
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