This old Kaya goban came to Baduk Club from Kagawa Prefecture.
The board is 12cm thick, and has taken on a lovely candy color with age. It stands 24cm tall with the legs on. The underside has an inscription which indicates that it was 'adjusted' in March 1931, so it may be even older than that.
The board has some wear, of course (so do most 90-year-olds), with the grid faded in spots. I have half a mind to ship it to home Colorado, where I could resurface the endgrain.
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. This is a common cut for kaya boards since they are often not large enough for a cross-cut.
- The Grain: the lines are wavy, unlike shin-kaya and most matsu. They are also quite thin because Kaya is a slow-growing tree so you should see hundreds of rings.
- The Weight: at 11 kilograms it is very dense. Kaya retains its resin as it cures.
- The Size (of the trunk): You can see that the rings radiate outward instead of forming 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 color.
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.
The corners and edges are pretty good, especially given how old this board is. There are some small scratches, please see the photos for details. The legs are in amazing shape, which is a very good indicator that the board has been well-kept.
Visit my Care Instructions to learn more about caring for a board like this.
Purchased new, such an item would cost about $3000-$5000 today. Please understand that this is a Vintage item.
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.
Surface Shipping with Japan Post Seamail is included in the purchase price. You can upgrade to FedEx by adding that item to your cart (Large), which would reduce the actual transit time to only 5 business days, and also allows more room for padding in order to avoid shipping damage. In either case, please allow a week for Customs preparations, then a FedEx tracking number will be provided that you can use to sign up for notifications.