In the second semester of the 2015 academic year, we offered the course “Cultivating Reasoning through the Game of Go” as a general subject in our KIKAN Education program. This new subject based on the KIKAN Education philosophy of learning "ways of looking at and thinking about things, and ways of learning,” will be offered with the support of the Nihon Ki-in (Japan Go Association).
The guest lecturer at the second lecture, on Wednesday, October 14, was 6-dan professional Go player Yukari Yoshihara. Kyushu University President Dr. Kubo – a 4-dan player who formerly served as advisor to the Kyudai Go Club – also addressed the class. While commenting on how tricky it was, the 50 first-to fourth-year undergraduates who took the course quickly picked up the three basic rules of Go and seemed to enjoy their first experience of moving the stones around the board. As they thought about their next moves and captured each other’s stones and positions, the games gradually became more serious.
The aim of this course is to cultivate the students’ powers of reasoning via the game of Go by giving them the opportunity to acquire the ability to learn independently through being able to define problems without prompting, as well as improving their ability to think logically, which is a key element of human abilities in all fields of activity.
As well as learning about Go, which is part of Japan’s traditional cultural heritage, course participants will develop thinking skills and improve their ability to concentrate by playing each other. In addition, Go is positioned as a tool for intergenerational and intercultural communication, so we hope that the dialogues and person-to-person connections arising in the course of these games will lead to the expansion of global activities.