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An internationalized but non-westernized shogi set
CouchTomato (1000) 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):

And here is an explanation of the set:

Any feedback is appreciated! 
7: captbirdseye (700) 2019-10-23 14:16 (2019-10-23 18:07に編集)
> OH brother...

Ouch! That hurt! :-) At least it was brief - unlike the drivel put forward promoting this disaster...
6: CouchTomato (1000) 2019-10-21 09:08
OH brother. It's because of people like captbirdseye that the international shogi community is as small as it is today...
5: captbirdseye (700) 2019-10-14 19:41 (2019-10-16 13:20に編集)
> I am not sure why everyone talks about "learning kanji" in relation to recognizing shogi pieces...I don't think this is even a debate.

If you can hear the sound of faint cheering in the background, that's me!

>...all it took for them to learn it was playing one or two games. This was true for literally everyone I showed the game to, without a single exception...

Snap! I'll be demonstrating Shogi at a big event in early November, and I'll bet that my previous experiences at Shogi demos will be repeated - no-one has *ever* had a problem 'learning' the pieces - no-one who's prepared to put a little effort into it, that is.

>...It is ridiculous to compare this to learning math at school...

Right on! When it was first touted (on another Shogi forum), this particular set was justified by some equally ridiculous comparisons with Edison, and the design of the Canadian flag. False claims in the original post were 'justified' on the grounds that it was 'obvious' that the poster really meant the exact *opposite* of what he actually said. What complete garbage!!!
   Incidentally, when one learns mathematics, one has to learn (at least part of) the Greek alphabet, and all the other arcane symbols associated with the subject - if it's OK to learn unfamiliar symbols/characters for mathematics, why not for Shogi (a much smaller set of 'strange' characters)?

> ...I'm against ever using any type of pieces other than the official kanji ones, and that includes Hidetchi's internationalized...

More cheering in the background from me - getting louder now...
4: nexxogen (1424) 2019-10-14 18:45
I am not sure why everyone talks about "learning kanji" in relation to recognizing shogi pieces. There is a huge difference between the two. 

To "learn kanji" in terms of shogi ends at being able to recognize different shapes. What is described here as "westerners not wanting to learn kanji", is only their negative first impression when they see a shogi set for the first time. I've heard "I could never learn that" more times than I can count, and then all it took for them to learn it was playing one or two games. This was true for literally everyone I showed the game to, without a single exception.

It is ridiculous to compare this to learning math at school, because there's really not much to learn here. The vast majority of people are able to tell one drawing from another, and as soon as they catch certain parts of the kanji that remind them of something they already know, the "problem" seizes to exist. I know I learned it that way: the Gold reminds me of a house with a roof, the Bishop looks like a coat hanger to me, the Rook has two 'E' letters on the right side, the Silver has the squished Gold sign plus something that looks like a letter 'R', and so on... This doesn't even come close to actually learning kanji like you would if you studied the Japanese language. It is just simple recognition of familiar patterns where it's not blatantly obvious at first glance.

Now, you could argue that even that first negative reaction people get is still enough of a problem and there may be some truth to it (though I do not agree that this is anywhere near the main reason for the fact that shogi is virtually non-existent ouside of Japan), but I strongly believe that changing the way pieces look is in no way a solution to that. I'm against ever using any type of pieces other than the official kanji ones, and that includes Hidetchi's internationalized which are by far the best ones in my opinion. The reason for this is that I believe it is best to overcome the "kanji barrier" as early as possible. Players would have to eventually switch to kanji anyway, and experience tells me that people generally don't like learning new stuff, but they REALLY don't like leaving their comfort zone. I can easily see how every game played with international pieces by someone who's been using them from day one, would make that person that much more reluctant to switch to kanji.

I don't think this is even a debate.
3: captbirdseye (700) 2019-06-20 02:20 (2019-10-16 13:24に編集)
> That's a very ornery comment...

Correct. Why? Because there seems to be a new Shogi piece design that will 'save the world' every few months, and I'm getting weary. I'm aware of three in the last 18 months or so, and I will concede that this design is the best of that particular trio (which isn't saying much!!!), but everything's relative, and the other two were so unbelievably bad that I refuse to tell folks where to find them...).

You said that any feedback would be appreciated - you got some - you didn't appreciate it. Tough! It's a cruel hard world.
2: CouchTomato (1000) 2019-06-19 20:28
That's a very ornery comment and picking out the most ridiculous part to complain about despite the fact that I apologized in said Reddit post for that error. I did not edit that post because it would put the whole conversation out of context. Furthermore, it should've been obvious from the start that when I said there was no "official standard," I meant in terms of internationalized pieces. Obviously the standard is kanji.

And second, "attempts to fix something which ain't broke." What's broke is that there is the shogi presence outside of Japan is very very small, especially compared to something like Go.

Third, I do have real pieces, and I know kanji just fine, thank you. The goal is not for people like you and me, but the for all the people out there that are missing out because they're too intimidated to learn kanji. Stop sticking your head in the sand and saying it's not a thing, because it is (and if you want, I can cite some data supporting that). But the fact of the matter is, some people just can't learn kanji that well. It's like math, or music. We could easily be in a mathematics forum arguing about abolishing calculus as a requirement from high school curriculum because it's easy and people should just learn it! Well consider the average person.
1: captbirdseye (700) 2019-06-19 13:31 (2019-10-14 19:31に編集)
This one was being touted on Reddit/shogi a few weeks back.

It's hopeless, like all these attempts to fix something which ain't broke. For Pete's sake, just buy a set of real Shogi pieces, and learn the kanji. If that's too difficult, take up tiddley-winks (no characters at all to learn!).

The promoter in the Reddit instance(*) based his claim for fame on the 'fact' that as there was no 'official' standard set, this offering was a good candidate for being adopted as that 'official' set. All this, despite the fact that there *is* an 'official' set, and despite the fact that this mistake was pointed out several times in the ensuing thread. The promoter of this disaster (at first) denied he had said there was no 'official' set, even when the evidence was there in his own post - then couldn't even be bothered to edit his own post to correct the mistake - the excuse being that he didn't want to confuse people by changing the post - pathetic...

Another candidate for the dust-bin of history, I think.

(*) I presume it's the same individual.