A wry look at go players

Senryu are Japanese poems that have the same structure as haiku - they are snapshots in 17 syllables, usually in a 5-7-5 pattern. But instead of grand themes such as the transience of life, they satirically focus on the earthiness of life and situations we all recognise. Thousands probably have been written about go. Here are some.

They are from the Oteai Bulletin for Spring 1927. The images are faint in the original and some have been redrawn for us by Jerry Keller. They were by Okada Gyokusui. The poems are by Tanuki-bo, a penname (something like Old Sly Dog). The translations are ours.

Both sitting as if
    Concocting and refining
        Secret plans. As if!


    O-tagai ni
        Hisaku wo neru no
            sugata nari

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