24 October 2005

The Axis of Heaven

The center point of the Go board is called Tengen in Japanese. According to Janice Kim, the English translation would be “The Axis of Heaven.” Go Seigen, the famous Go player, was said to visualize the board as a pyramid, with Tengen as the peak.

If you could sit at the “peak” of the Go board, you would have the ultimate vantage point, able to clearly see every move of the board from a higher level. Also, think about the word “Axis.” Imagine if you could spin a Go board. Everything on the edge would be just holding on for dear life. But if you stood at the center, on the axis itself, it’s calm like the eye of a hurricane.

I guess it’s my version of Kami no itte, the Divine Move. I strive to reach Tengen, the Axis of Heaven, where the fighting and chaos of the game swirl around me but I can calmly see the perfect move.

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