This gorgeous goban came to Baduk Club from an antique dealer in Funabashi City, Chiba Prefecture.
The board is 15.4cm thick, and has taken on an amazing candy color with age. It comes with a protective cloth cover and paulownia lid. It stands 27cm tall with legs on, and weighs 18 kilograms.
It looks like a textbook species of Kaya, with these indicators:
- The Cut: it is a Center Cut (kiomote) to show off the heart of the tree.
- The Grain: the lines are wavy, unlike shin-kaya and most matsu. There are hundreds of rings here in the heartwood alone. This is unmistakably Hyuga Kaya (Kaoru).
- The Weight: at 18kg it is incredibly dense. Kaya retains its resin as it cures.
- The Size (of the trunk): You can see that the rings radiate outward instead of forming neat semi-circles. This was an absolutely tremendous tree. While kaya isn't rare, it does take 500-1000 years to grow large enough to be used for a go board.
- The Color: a warm candy color, the heartwood is a uniform tone with reddish resin streaks particular to Hyuga Kaya (Kaoru).
- The Scent: Not checked, sorry! Most species of Kaya have a sweet smell like vanilla and cloves - remove a leg to access the raw wood and give it a sniff.
A center cut like this leaves beautiful end-grain where both players will sit, and straight lines along each side. The top and bottom have cross-grains in unique patterns like a fingerprint. based on the heartwood of the tree.
A quiet but telling feature of the quality of this board are the legs. Note the double "shoulders" in the center of the legs. The care taken to create that second flourish is a true mark of quality.
The corners and edges are all quite good. The protective paulownia lid has done its job. There are a couple knots in the wood itself, please see the photos for details.
A crack exists (on the underside) but it looks very stable. Kaya is cured for 10 years before being cut, so the strength of the resin helps insure that the wood doesn't come apart. Still, it should be oiled and re-waxed (including the legs), especially if your climate is less humid than Japan. Visit my Care Instructions to learn more.
Please understand that this is a Vintage item. Purchased new, such an item would cost about $4000-$6000 today.
If you would like to add go bowls or stones, it would be no trouble to bundle this item with other products from our warehouse in Japan.
Already included in the price is the cost of FedEx International Priority shipping from Japan (to nearly anywhere). This service reduces the actual transit time to only 5 business days, and also allows more room for padding in order to avoid shipping damage. Please allow a week for Customs preparations, then a FedEx tracking number will be provided that you can use to sign up for notifications.