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〒698-0024 17-2 Ekimae-cho Masuda-shi Shimane Japan

Kaoru IwamotoHoninbo Kunwa















Kaoru Iwamoto(岩本薫 19021999) also known as Hon-inbo Kunwa, was a Japanese professional “Go” player who achieved the rank of 9-dan.

He was born in Masuda City of Shimane prefecture. He was a follower of Heijiro Hirose, 8-dan.  His strategy of “Go” was called “mamemaki Go” (scattering beans Go) , because at first his stones are scattered everywhere. Later those stones are used to pressure his enemy bit by bit.

He happened to be playing “Go” in the outskirts of Hiroshima, when the atomic bomb exploded in 1945. This game was continued after the war and ended in a 3-3 draw. A three-game playoff was held in 1946, Iwamoto won two straight games to take the Hon-inbo title.

He was the chief director of Nihon Ki-in and the director of Nihon Ki-in Chuo Kaikan.

In his later years he was the main benefactor of several European and American “Go” centers in London, Sao Paulo, New York, Seatle and Amsterdam.

Biography of Kaoru Iwamoto 

 Year  Age  Events
 1902   On February 5, 1902, Kaoru Iwamoto was born in Takatsu, Masuda City, Shimane prefecture.
 1905   3 Moved to Busan, Korea with his parents.
 1911   9 Started to play Go with his father.
 1913  11 Returned to Japan. Become a pupil of Hirose Heijiro, a 6-dan holder of Houensha in Tokyo.
 1917  15  Achieved 1-dan.
 1918  16  Visited China with Hirose Heijiro.
1919  17  Achieved 2-dan.
 1920  18  Achieved 3-dan.
 1922 20  Achieved 4-dan.
1923   21  Visited Taipei.
 1924  22  Became a member of the Nihon-kiin which was established this year.
 1925 23  Achieved 5-dan.
1926   24  Achieved 6-dan and visited China.
 1927  25  Married Karasawa Kikue.
 1929  27  Emigrated to Brazil.
 1931  29 Came back to Japan and resumed his caree as a Go player. Visited China.
 1935  33  Elected as one of the top committee members of the Nihon Ki-in. He won the Oteai, one of the most important tournaments in Japan at the time.
 1941  39  Achieved 7-dan, and became a permanent director of the Kido-hokokukai.(棋道報国会) 
 1945  43 Became a permanent director of the Nihon Ki-in.

Due to the Nihon Ki-in’s office was burnt down by a bomb during the war, Iwamoto’s house turned into the temporary office of the Nihon Ki-in.

Challenged the third Hon-inbo match held in Hiroshima. The competitor was Utaro Hashimoto . This match is well-known as “Under The Atomic Bomb Go Game”. The match ended in a 3-3 draw and put off.

 1946  44 The third Hon-inbo match was resumed after the war. He won two games and received the Hon-inbo title. He was called as Hon-inbo Kunwa.
 1947  45  Defended the Hon-inbo title against Kitani Minoru at the forth Hon-inbo match.
 1948  46  Achieved 8-dan and became the president of Nihon Ki-in.(1949)
 1950  48  Lost the Hon-inbo title, gave to Hashimoto Utaro.
 1952  50 Won the All Hon-inbo & All 8-dan holders match. The last cmpetitor was Kitani Minoru.
1954   52 Became the first director of the Nihon Ki-in Chuo Kaikan(Nihon Ki-in central hall)
 1955  53 Won the second NHK Cup.
 1959  57 Stayed in US for the 14th Hon-inbo league much in USA for two months.
 1961  59 Stayed in US for a year to make the game of Go popular.
 1962  60 Visited Europe to make the game of Go popular.
 1967  65 Achieved 9-dan.  He visited North and South America and stayed there for 2 months to make the game of Go play poplular.He was given a medal with a Purple Ribbon.
 1970  68 Visited South America and Europe and stayed there for 2 months to make the game of Go popular.
 1972  70 Visited South America and Europe and stayed there for 2 months to make the game of Go popular.
 1973  71 Given the medal of Kun-Santo Shiju Housho.
 1974  72 Became the vice chief director of Nihon Ki-in.
 1975  73  Visited South America and stayed there for a month to make the game of Go popular.
 1978  76 His pupil, James Kerwin, achieved Sho-dan(1-dan). He is the first professional Go player among westerners.
 1983  81 Retired in April.
 1987  86  Established the Iwamoto Foundation with the initial contribution of 530 million yen and became an honorary citizen of Tokyo.
 1989  97  Was the main benefactor of the Go Center in Sao Paulo (1989),  Amsterdam(1992), Seattle and New York (1995)
     

















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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Masuda City Tourist Information Center

〒698-0024
17-2 Ekimae-cho Masuda-shi Shimane Japan

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