This awesome goban set came to Baduk Club from a consignment store in Osaka. It needs an owner who is ready to do some gentle refurbishing. Visit my Care Instructions to learn more about that.
The board is 13cm thick, and has taken on an amazing candy color with age. It looks like a textbook species of Kaya, with these indicators:
- The Cut: it is a Plain-Sawn board (Itame-Kiura) to show off the heart of the tree. This is one of the highest-regarded cuts when the tree is not large enough to be Quarter-Sawn.
- The Grain: the growth rings are quite thin because Kaya is slow-growing.
- The Weight: for its size it is very dense. Kaya retains its resin as it cures (usually for 10 years before the board is shaped), which provides amazing longevity.
- The Rings: You can see that the rings are very wavy, radiating irregularly instead of forming neat semi-circles like Spruce or Pine do. While kaya isn't a rare species, it does take 500-1000 years to grow large enough to be used for a go board.
- The Color: the heartwood is a warm, uniform yellow color.
- The Scent: kaya should smell sweet like patchouli, or vanilla and cloves. The seller indicated that the board smelled "like syrup."
A plain-sawn board 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 board is in pretty good shape but needs some refurbishing. Numerous small dents and scratches exist, so the board has been discounted. These blemishes may be improved with a damp cloth and hot iron, or be filled with beeswax. The legs dry and scratched, so they could also stand to be scrubbed and waxed. It would be good to plan to wax the board (at minimum) unless your climate is as humid as Japan.
Purchased new, such a board would cost about $3000-$5000 today, not including bowls and stones. A full suite of photos is included so please look them over to verify the quality.
The bowls are Mulberry or Keyaki (Zelkova), and could also be refurbished if you prefer. I would recommend scrubbing off the old finish with #0000 steel wool and treating them with Monkey Wax.
The stones are slate and shell, a full set of 181 black and 180 white. They measure 10mm, about size 36. The clamshells have a nice vintage patina and look like Utility grade, but also could be cleaned or refurbished.
This is a Vintage item.
FedEx International Priority shipping is already included in the price. 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. It is possible to downgrade to Japan Post Surface shipping (this would save $140, as the legs and bowls and stones would ship separately), but this would be done at your own risk so please contact us to request this. In either case, please allow a week for packing and Customs, then a tracking number(s) will be provided that you can use to sign up for notifications.