Children Play Shogi Beside Cherry Trees at School Event in Seto, Aichi Prefecture

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Children play shogi beside cherry trees in Seto, Aichi Prefecture, on March 30.

SETO, Aichi — Backed by a children’s shogi school where eight-titleholder Sota Fujii learned the Japanese board game, an event in which children play shogi beside cherry trees was recently held on a bank of the Seto River in Seto, Aichi Prefecture.

The annual spring event is held by Fumimoto Kodomo Shogi Kyoshitsu, where about 30 children from preschool to junior high school age practice shogi. Fujii, 21, who holds all eight major shogi titles, also participated in the event as a child.

“The occasion is a milestone, since some of the children leave our school as they also graduate from school,” said Rikio Fumimoto, 69, who runs the shogi school.

“Shogi is fun. It’s exciting and thrilling as you think about how your opponent will play,” a fourth-grade elementary schooler said, staring at the shogi board with a serious look.

At the event on March 30, Fumimoto and others also played music. Magic tricks were also performed before the children and their parents.