This amazing goban came to Baduk Club from an antique dealer in Tokyo, Japan.
The board is 14.3cm thick, and has the usual candy color that Kaya wood takes on with age, highlighting the dark resin in the grain. It comes with a protective paulownia lid that is decorated with calligraphy (we are awaiting a translation). It stands about 27cm tall with legs on.
It looks like a textbook species of Kaya, with these indicators:
- The Cut: it is Center Cut (kiomote style) to show off the heart of the tree.
- The Grain: the lines are wavy, unlike shin-kaya and matsu. They are also quite thin because Kaya is a slow-growing tree so there are hundreds of rings.
- The Weight: Kaya is dense because it retains its resin as it cures for 10 years.
- The Size (of the trunk): While kaya isn't rare, it takes 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.
- The Scent: It has a subtle sweet smell like vanilla and cloves.
A plain-sawn board like this produces 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.
The legs are close to the same color as the board, so they are likely Kaya as well, but could be Katsura. Visit my Care Instructions to learn more about cleaning and caring for floor boards.
Kaya boards are cured for 10 years before they are made, which ensures that the wood has finished changing shape. One of the big benefits of a vintage board like this is that it has had additional time to continue aging, this means the wood is more stable than ever. A small crack appears on one face, but should not be worried about.
The wood is soft so it provides a nice resonance when playing slate and shell stones (in contrast to the sharp sound that comes from hard materials like glass and bamboo).
The corners and edges are all quite good, thanks to the protective lid. There may be gentle pitting on the surface, as stones hitting the playing area with heavy force can leave marks. Please see the photos for details of the specific condition.
The most notable defect is a small knot on the underside - this is probably the reason why that side wasn't used for the top. It also hasn't be cleaned in quite some time.
Please understand that this is a Vintage item. Purchased new, such an item would cost about $5000-$7000 today.
FedEx International Priority shipping from Japan is already included in the cost. Please allow a week for packing and Customs preparations, then we will email you the tracking number so that you can sign up for shipping notifications.