World Shogi Forum

World Shogi Forum > Shogi in General > An internationalized but non-westernized shogi set

An internationalized but non-westernized shogi set
CouchTomato (1053) 2019-06-18 08:38
Hi everyone! I've been working on a new internationalized shogi set... I've always admired Hidetchi's set because of its beauty, simplicity, and how well it demonstrates movement. However, a number of players do not like such sets because of the westernized feeling, that using such pieces try too much to be like chess and lose what it is to be shogi.

So my goal is to create something in between, something that does what Hidetchi's set does, but does not rely on European-style chess pieces when possible (for example all the Catholic references).

Here is a picture of one of the set in plastic form (as opposed to wooden form): https://i.imgtc.ws/cRH55Gg.png

And here is an explanation of the set: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ot5l0ja3u7fk3r9/Internationalized%20Shogi.pdf?dl=0

Any feedback is appreciated! 
Please login to post a comment.
19: CouchTomato (1053) 2020-06-26 08:43
@ Nexxogen

I know your first point was addressed to Ledung, but I know at least two people that fit that description (both are single-digit kyu players here). As to your second point, I refuted them on Reddit already, which he continuously ignored. And I'm aware of his shogi material. But doing great work doesn't give you the right to be a pompous ass.
18: nexxogen (1424) 2020-06-25 20:00
@ Ledung

How many examples do you know of people who started learning shogi with westernized pieces, stuck with it and then switched to traditional kanji and continued playing?

@ CouchTomato

He isn't a troll. He's a bit too involved with this topic for some reason, but he actually created a whole bunch of great shogi educational material and gave it away for free. And you didn't refute his points.
17: CouchTomato (1053) 2020-06-05 06:25
I don't attempt to refute your points because 1) I already have before, and 2) there is no point in arguing with a troll. And you, who continues to post unprompted a year after this post was created, are a classic troll.
16: captbirdseye (700) 2020-06-04 13:37 (Edited at 2020-06-05 03:17)
>>15  CouchTomato

> If anyone wanted to know what it would be like if Donald Trump played shogi, we have exhibit A below, 
> replete with narcissistic and fact-twisting rants. Only thing missing is the Twitter handle.

Good morning! Welcome back! So nice to hear from you again...

Vulgar abuse eh? Oh goodie - I seem to have struck bone.

If Donald Trump played Shogi, he would probably be attempting to distract the other player(s) from the real issues by inventing faux-Shogi pieces - rather like your good self. You and he are very similar in that respect. Congratulations - it must be very flattering to be compared favourably with one of the world's great statesmen...

I notice however, that you don't attempt to refute the point(s) I make.

I challenge you once again to reconcile those genuine comments with your own twisted, warped point of view - based on the chagrin you must be feeling at the low take-up of your toy Shogi pieces. 

I don't know about narcissistic, but some people might consider that your own assumption that folks find kanji difficult to learn is damn patronising. They might also regard your attempts to fix something which ain't broke, and then to hawk it around complete with self-congratulatory bullshit as just a tad narcissistic?

The difference between you and me my friend is that I believe that 99.9% of folks are more than capable of learning a few strange symbols, and are willing, eager and committed enough to do so, while you just don't - for whatever reason - a deluded belief in your own superiority to the rest of the human race, I suppose. Or, to put it another way, a deluded belief that the rest of the human race are inferior to yourself. Another character trait you seem to share with Trump.

I also believe that far more people are put off Shogi by these foolish joke Shogi pieces than are put off by the difficulty involved in learning a few strange symbols. I've always said so, and I will continue to do so.
15: CouchTomato (1053) 2020-06-04 10:22
If anyone wanted to know what it would be like if Donald Trump played shogi, we have exhibit A below, replete with narcissistic and fact-twisting rants. Only thing missing is the Twitter handle.
14: captbirdseye (700) 2020-05-21 16:52 (Edited at 2020-05-23 21:50)
>>6  CouchTomato said:

>OH brother. It's because of people like captbirdseye that the international shogi community is as small as it is today...

Yet, when commenting on my Shogi material, other people have said:

...the pdf download of "A Brief Introduction to Shogi" appears to be exactly what I was looking for...

...This is awesome...

...Great Archive! The quality of the PDF documents is superb!...

...amazing! Appreciate that you share your work...

...I really appreciate this!...

...Thank you, what a great resource...

...thank you for making so much content available in a very readable PDF format...

...What an absolutely fantastic resource you have posted. With emphasis, thank you...

Would you care to reconcile those views with your own (which are, of course, coloured by the fact that you simply can't take criticism of your Komic-Kuts-Kiddie-Kartoon style pieces, even after having asked for it)?

I thought your comment was so funny that I've now included it in my "Introduction to Shogi" - so you have gained an international reputation - of a sort...
13: captbirdseye (700) 2020-04-14 00:47 (Edited at 2020-04-14 00:48)
Sorry - mis-post and can't see how to delete...

12: captbirdseye (700) 2020-04-14 00:38 (Edited at 2020-04-14 00:46)
11: Ledung (1077) 2020-04-12 05:11
Very nice!

I think we need to recognize two phases of getting interested in Shogi. The first phase is before you have even tried it and when you are scared of the Kanji. The second phase is when you have played one or two games and learned to recognize the Kanji and how the pieces move. It is not difficult to get through the second phase, but most people don't get there because they never get past the first phase. After playing two games they probably prefer the Kanji pieces, but that is not happening.

Shogi is a better game than chess. Chess has been played out a long time ago. White needs to play to win, black needs to play to draw, and most top level games are draws. In the future we will probably think of it like checkers. Shogi is a much better game when you consider first move advantage and number of drawn games, owing to the drops. Even Xiangqi is a slightly better game than chess, but the difference is not big enough to create an interest that is comparable to that of western chess in the west. We have tried adding drops to western chess but Crazyhouse doesn't work out well because the pieces are too strong so it's over in 15 moves. Shogi is unique and clearly the next step in the evolution of chess.

So I think any effort to promote Shogi in the west is good and that people should keep creating these westernized Shogi pieces so people can get past phase 1 and actually try the game.

I know of a few ones, but there are probably more:

* Dobutsu Shogi in the Greenwood. I even got the kids to play Shogi with this set, but of course it is for children. They love the dogs and cats et c. This is brilliant.
* Hidetchi's set is great and intuitive for western chess players with the familiar bishop, rook, pawn et c. It was a good choice to choose new graphics for the gold and silver generals, which even indicate how they move. Very thoughtful.
* This version is very nice too. I like the idea to distinguish west from east (bishop design). Also very thoughtful.
* Shogi.cz has westernized Shogi pieces composed of the single Kanji on top of the piece's movement pattern. It should be familiar for Shogi players and understandable for new players.
* There was also a figurine chess set called the Eurasian chess men. Interesting experiment but I have never tried them.

I don't know what's best. I guess the market will eventually decide. Maybe this is not even as big of an obstacle as we imagine and it will eventually reach the west in its traditional form (which is the best scenario in my opinion but it doesn't seem to be happening).

Another thing that slows down Shogi adoption in the west is that there are relatively few Shogi resources in English. Maybe this is the biggest obstacle. I really appreciate Hidetchi's videos and the few websites that have Tsumeshogi. The few resources that exist (including 81dojo) make a huge impact.

Comparisons can also be made with the adoption of Igo in the west, but there we had the advantage of a western version not already existing, so it was probably easier.
10: captbirdseye (700) 2020-02-26 18:40 (Edited at 2020-03-08 20:29)
> OH brother. It's because of people like captbirdseye that the international shogi community is as small as it is today...

I never bothered responding *directly* to this offensive and insulting calumny from some-one who apparently can't accept any-one presuming to disagree with him. However, today I have a few spare minutes in my busy schedule, and I'm feeling a bit liverish, so:

Utter crap! 

The reason that "...the international shogi community is as small as it is today..." is because the aspiring Shogi player is put off by the constant repetition of the tired old cliche about kanji being too difficult for non-Japanese to learn. In my experience, this was, is, and always will be complete garbage.

This idea is put about by folks who are too frightened/lazy/dumb/unmotivated/patronising to learn a few unfamiliar symbols from a different culture (min. 8/9, max. 14/15).

These folks clearly suffer from some form of inferiority complex, and deal with that complex by talking patronisingly about 'the average person', and by indulging in 'displacement activities' such as inventing joke Shogi pieces which they then try and palm off on the emerging international Shogi community. Needless to say, these joke pieces (and the misguided wretches who promote them) are a complete waste of space.

From a personal point of view, I regard this sort of criticism from a member of this self-appointed 'elite' of patronising clowns as praise of the highest order - clearly, my disparaging remarks about these tatty joke Shogi pieces have got them worried.

This is my Shogi 'Badge of Shame' - I will wear it with pride...


This is 81Dojo's web system for account and data management. The entrance to the shogi app can be found in the main site at https://81dojo.com.