This amazing goban came to Baduk Club from an antique dealer in Saitama, Japan.
The board is almost 18cm 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. It stands 30cm 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): You can see that the rings radiate outward instead of forming neat semi-circles. 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 close to the same color as the board, so they may be Kaya but could also 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. And even still, 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. The protective lid has done its job. There is gentle pitting on the surface as stones hitting the playing area will leave marks if done too hard. Please see the photos for details. The most notable defect is a small repair near the navel on the underside - this is probably from its original construction, and the reason that side wasn't used for the top.
Boxed up with the legs and the lid, this set weighs 20kg.
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.