This amazing goban came to Baduk Club from the private home of a go player in Denver. It is being sold on commission.
The board was originally purchased for $5000 from Ishi Press (Richard Bozulich) back in the 1980s, and shipped to Colorado from Japan. The square plexiglass lid was purchased separately from Samarkand (Janice Kim); it is 51.5cm wide and long, and 38cm tall.
The board is 20cm 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 plexiglass lid. It stands 32.5cm tall with legs on. It weighs just over 21kg. It is a standard length and width (45.5cm by 42.5cm).
It looks like a textbook species of Kaya, with these indicators:
- The Cut: it is Center Cut (kiura style) to show off the heart of the tree.
- 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 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): 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.
- 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 a the same color as the board,, they are also Kaya. Their finish is great, and they have some wax residue. I would normally recommend that the board be oiled and re-waxed, especially if your climate is less humid than Japan, but the board has been in Colorado for 40 years and is getting on just fine. Visit my Care Instructions to learn more.
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 an additional 40 years to continue aging, this means the wood is more stable than ever. And even still, the wood is soft so it provides a nice resonance when playing slate and shell stones (in contrast to the harsh sound that comes from hard materials like glass and bamboo).
The corners and edges are all quite good. The protective lid has done its job. Some small cracks on the underside could be sealed with beeswax or closed with Butterflies, or if your climate is more humid than Colorado the board may reseal those on its own. There is very little pitting on the surface, common with soft wood over time, so the board was rarely used. There are a couple imperfections that can't be helped with a used board, please see the photos for details. Boxed up with the legs and the lid, this set weighs 23kg.
Please understand that this is a Vintage item. Purchased new, such an item would cost about $5000-$7000 today.
This item ships from Colorado USA. Please allow up to a week for shipping preparations, then a tracking number will be provided that you can use to sign up for notifications.