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Symposium of Post-mysticism: Bunbunmaru Newspaper 11

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Momiji Symposium

文々。新聞

Bunbunmaru Newspaper

第七十八季 神無月の一

Season 78 (1963), 1st of Kannazuki (October)

新しい将棋の発見か

New Shogi Discovery?

無縁塚より新たな駒の発見

Discovery of New Pieces from Muenzuka

河童の所有物の中から将棋の駒とみられる見た事もない駒が発見され、話題になっている。

The discovery of the supposedly never-before-seen shogi[1] pieces in the kappas' possession has become a subject of discussion.

広く知られている将棋は玉(翡翠)、金、銀、桂枝、香木の財宝を、歩兵と二匹の龍で守るゲームであるが、それだけでは勝負が付くまでの時間が短かすぎる為、白狼天狗の中では駒を大幅に追加し、独自ルールを追加した天狗大将棋を採用している。

The shogi is widely known to protect the treasure: orb (or jade)[2], gold[3], silver[4], cinnamon branch[5] and incense wood[6] with pawns and two dragons[7] protect. Since using just these pieces means it doesn't take long to decide a winner, the white wolf tengu have adopted "Tengu Grand Shogi" which has a multitude of additional pieces and unique rules made by them.

天狗大将棋にはさらに多くの財宝と、それを守る(狙う)妖獣、妖怪が追加されている。一勝負、数日かかる事もザラだ。

Great Tengu Shogi adds many treasure pieces, with beasts and youkai protecting (hunting) them. It is common for a single game to take several days.

今回発見された将棋の駒とみられる物は、「大将」「中将」等、歩兵の強化版とみられる駒の他、「ヒコーキ」「スパイ」等効果が全く読めない駒まであった。全て裏面には何も記述されてなく、つまり成る事が出来ない。

Pieces which have been currently found include the "general", "lieutenant general", and other such pieces, which supposedly are promoted versions of pawns. There were also pieces like "airplane" and "spy", whose effects are truly unimaginable.[8] There was nothing written on the backs of any of these, which means they can't be promoted.[9]

今までも積極的に駒を追加してルールを拡張していた白狼天狗の犬走椛はこう語る。

Momiji Inubashiri, the white wolf tengu who has been active in adding pieces and expanding rules until now, had the following to say.

「独自ルールを追加しているのは我々だけだと思っていた。まさか外の世界でも同じような事が行われているとは、少し悔しい」

"I thought that it was only us who were making original rules. I cannot believe my ears to hear that the same kind of things were happening in the outside world as well, it's a bit frustrating."

そう言いながら、新しい駒のルール作りに余念が無い。

Though she says that, she is devoted to make more rules for the new pieces.

「外の世界では将棋がどのように進化しているのかこの目で見てみたい。ただ、新しく見つかった駒は全て成る事が出来ないので、ルールが単純化している可能性がある。その場合、我々天狗が楽しむには物足りないものになっているのかも知れない」

"I want to see how shogi in the outside world has evolved with my own eyes. There is the possibility that the rules have been simplified, since all of the new pieces which were found couldn't be promoted. In that case, we tengu might have to enjoy something which has become unsatisfactory."

現在、外の世界は戦後の復興を終え、高度成長の真っ只中だという。時間の掛かる遊びが簡略化され、気軽に遊べる内容になっている可能性も高い。もしそうなっているのだとしたら、将棋に関しても幻想郷は対極な進化を遂げているのかも知れない。隔離してからたかが半世紀、文化の格差は止められそうに無い。

Currently, it is said that the outside world has finished post-war reconstruction and is at the height of rapid economic growth. It is very likely that games which take hours to play have been simplified and can be played easily. If that is the case, then even with regards to shogi, Gensokyo is probably evolving in the complete opposite direction. Although separated by just half of a century, it looks like cultural differences cannot be stopped.

(射命丸 文)

(Aya Shameimaru)

References

1. ^  Shogi (将棋) is a popular board game in Japan. Its rules are quite similar to the Western board game, chess.
2. ^  Equivalent to the king in chess. Historically, shogi's king was originally the orb (gyokushou, lit. orb general, 玉将) but confused with king (oushou, lit. king general, 王将) later. In Old chinese culture, "orb" () indicated "jade".
3. ^  The "gold general" in today's shogi terms, moves much like a king in chess, except it cannot move diagonally backwards.
4. ^  The "silver general" in today's shogi terms, moves much like a king in chess, except it cannot move directly backwards or to the side. It can, however, move diagonally backwards.
5. ^  桂馬 (keima, lit. cinnamon charriot). The "knight" in today's shogi term, is like a limited version of the knight in chess. It can move in an L-shape, but it may only do so by moving two squares forward and one square to the side. We read "桂 as "katsura" normally, but it is the abbreviated form of 肉桂 — cinnamon, the symbol of a typical fragrance in Ancient Japan.
6. ^  香車 (kyousha, lit. incense wagon). The "lance" in today's shogi terms, is a piece in shogi which can move any number of squares directly in front of it.
7. ^  The two dragons are the equivalent of a single bishop and rook in chess. They are called as "horse chariot" (hisha, lit. "barreling wagon", 飛車) and "ox chariot" (kakugyou, lit. "thorn mover", 角行) at start, but they are turned and promoted as "dragon king" (ryuuou, 竜王) and "dragon horse" (ryuuma, 竜馬).
8. ^  This may be a reference to gunjin shougi (soldier shogi, 軍人将棋). According to a discourse quoted on a Japanese blog entry, this board game is somehow unpopular in spite of its long history, because of its complex rules and requirement for a third player to act as a referee.
9. ^  Unlike chess, shogi pieces can only be promoted to specific pieces.

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