This is a short clip I shot of two people sitting in a street of Beijing and playing a game of Go (in China, the game is called Weiqi [pronounced, more or less, "way-chee"]). Although originally a Chinese game, Weiqi isn’t played very often by Chinese people (it has evolved into its current form after being introduced into Japan). The Chinese seem to prefer Mah-Jong or Chinese Chess and, whenever asked about Weiqi, they dismiss the game as being “much too complicated”. I had stopped hoping to see anyone play it until, a few days before leaving China, I came across two men sitting in the middle of Dong Si Shi Tiao street and negotiating the Endgame (Yose).
In the Zhejiang province of China there was a mountain inhabited by faeries. One day, an uncautious carpenter, Wang Zhi, went up the mountain in search of wood. Coming over a group of people gathered round a Go board, he joined them to watch the game. Sitting down, Wang Zhi gently leaned his axe against a rock.
One of the company gave him a prune to eat. The moves made during the game were of unsurpassable beauty. Wang Zhi lost himself completely in it. Suddenly, one of the spectators turned to him and asked if he shouldn’t be thinking about getting home at some point.
Startled, he reached for his axe, but it crumbled to dust at the touch of his hand. Returning to the village, he came across a man he had never met. The man pointed to a statue and said: “This is a statue erected to the memory of Wang Zhi, who disappeared one hundred years ago.”
(The legend of Ranka mountain)