The Go Masters

Institute History

  • 1985 Sundance Film Festival


Made to celebrate the tenth anniversary of restored relations between the two countries, this film shows unity from top to bottom. Spanning the years from 1924 to 1956, The Go Masters traces Sino-Japanese relations through the experiences of two families whose meeting ground is over the ancient Asian game of Go.

Southern Chinese master Kuang Yishan turns over his only son Aming to Japanese master Rinsaku Matsunami. Growing up in Japan under Matsunami’s tutelage, Aming becomes the foremost young adept of the game. When hostilities break out between the two countries, Matsunami echoes the behavior of patriot s like him all over the world, refusing to believe his country has committed any of the reported atrocities. Aming in turn refuses to relinquish his Chinese citizenship in order to retain his Japanese championship title, and rifts between countries become rifts between individuals. Both families suffer terrible losses, but the film’s outcome attempts to show the reconciliation is possible if individuals will make the effort.

— Audie Bock

Screening Details

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