This wonderful katsura goban came to Baduk Club from an antique dealer in Osaka.
The board is from a slow-growing tree with gorgeous heartwood. It is the most preferred of cross-cuts (kiura), which has mostly straight lines across the playing surface, with some central cross-grains, and shows off the growth rings of the tree on the ends. This cutting method is also known as Plain-sawn.
The tone of the wood stays very consistent across the entire thickness, so how old the tree was should be cause for wonder. Soft heartwood ripples over the surface give an impression of wind on water, something a bit less angular than the heartwood of a pine. At 19.3kg, this is a very dense piece of hardwood, weighing more than a similarly sized Spruce board. It is most likely Katsura, but could be something similar like Taiwanese Cypress.
The raised lacquer of the grid indicates that it was hand-lined by tachimori.
The edges look really nice, and there only seems to be slight rounding on one or two of the corners. It is without major flaws as far as I can tell, apart from the weathering on the underside - this could be cleaned up as part of a refurbishing process.
The white you see on the ends and underside of the board is a very good sign that the board has been maintained - I would recommend clearing the excess with a dry towel (and potentially using steel wool or sandpaper) before reapplying a paste wax like our own Monkey Wax. It should last several more generations.
The feet are Katsura also, and are in good shape. They were probably treated with Linseed or Tung oil so they have darkened over time.
FedEx International Priority shipping from Japan (to almost everywhere) is already included in the purchase price, which reduces the shipping time to only 5 business days. This also means your items will have more room for padding and spend less time in transit, so they are less likely to be damaged by the shipping. It may be possible to send this board by Seamail (with the legs sent separately) to reduce the cost by about $120, but you would do this at your own risk so please use the Chat widget to discuss this with us.