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To Know The Go Board Quality

Kaya is the type of slow-growing coniferous tree and also called Torreya Nucifera, which is considered the best wood pieces suited for Go board material because of its elasticity, color, luster, and scent.

Among the Kaya trees, Japanese Hon-kaya is prized for the construction of Go boards, and especially the ones are grown in Hyuga city of Miyazaki prefecture that is regarded as the highest quality wood material.

The national forest in Aya, one of the towns located in Miyazaki prefecture, is managed by Aya Forestry Bureau. The area produces the first-rate Kaya trees and has been prohibited from cutting since 2000 due to its scarcity, and therefore the Go board made from the Kaya of Aya is a rarity on the market.


The value of a Go board is determined by various factors, such as its wood material, thickness, and position in the stem. There are different ways of cutting a Go board out of a log, including but not limited to:


Masame: The Japanese term for a wooden Go board with straight grain on the surface. The Go board is cut from a log to produce straight grain running vertically across the top of the board.


Tenchi-masa: One of the Masame cutting styles, namely "Heaven and Earth" straight grain, which runs vertically across the top towards the bottom.


Itame: The Japanese term for a wooden Go board with a flat-sawn grain on the surface.  According to the cutting position of the log, the cutting styles differentiate between Kiura and Kiomote. The former is with wood rings running horizontally but curving towards the top of the board. On the contrary, the latter's wood rings are seen curving towards the bottom."

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