Japanese chess Shogi and kanji

Have you ever played Japanese chess “将棋(shogi)”? …I hate it…because when I was a baby, my older brother forced me to play with him because he can win 100 percent of the time….(-_-) So, I really understand how Shikadai feels! I respect him learning so hard.(are you really sure it’s not only for the allowance?)

What is the Book Shikadai Reads?

Shikadai is reading a book when he plays shogi. What is he reading?

Japanese chess Shogi and kanji

The front cover says “はじめての詰将棋 (hajimeteno tsume-shogi)” and that means “First Time Shogi Puzzle”. Tsume-shogi is a shogi problem in which the goal is to checkmate the opponent’s king. It presents a situation that might occur in a shogi game around the end, and the solver must find out how to achieve checkmate.

So, I guess Shikadai is looking at the page of the puzzle that Shikamaru challenged him on and thinking about the answer. He tries new way, he fails and then puts the pieces back into the original position.

The Basic Rule of Shogi: How to Move Pieces

The rules of shogi are almost like chess but a little more complicated. So, I’ll explain only about the basic moves of each peace and how to read the kanji calligraphy on them.

Japanese chess Shogi and kanji

King (王将: oushou/ohsho)

Some shogi players(especially professional players) call it “ぎょく(gyoku)”.
王将 can move one step in any direction per move.

Shogi set has 2 kings but traditionaly they use 2 different kanji “王” and “玉”. Normally the lower rank (weaker) player use “玉”. So, Shikadai, who is a weak shogi player, was using 玉将.

Japanese chess Shogi and kanji

Gold General (金将: kin-shou/kin-sho)

Shogi players usually call it “きん(kin)”.
金将 can move one step per move any way except diagnoally backward.

Silver General (銀将: gin-shou)

Shogi players usually call it “ぎん(gin)”.
銀将 can move one step per move forwards or diagonally

Knight (桂馬: keima)

Some shogi players(especially professional players) call it “けい(kei)”.
桂馬 can move two steps forward in right side or left side(It can not mowe straigt).
Only 桂馬 may jump over other pieces.

Rook (飛車: hisha/hisya)

Some shogi players(especially professional players) call it “ひ(hi)”.
飛車 can move vertically or horizontally any distance.

Bishop (角行: kakugyou/kakugyo)

Shogi players usually call it “かく(kaku)”.
角行 can move diagonally any distance.

Lance (香車: kyousha/kyosya)

Shogi players usually call it “きょう(kyou/kyo)”.
香車 can move forward any distance.

Pawn (歩兵: fuhyou/fuhyo)

Shogi players usually call it “ふ(fu)”.
歩兵 can move one step forward.


Today’s Kanji Shirt is “Certain Victory”! Shikadai, beat Shikamaru!

Cool Japanese Kanji Shirt Certain Victory


If you want to know the meanings of any Japanese kanji that you don’t see English subs for in a particular animation or live action movie, tell me “Name of the Show”, “Season and Episode #” and “the Exact Moment (Minute: Second) if it’s available”!

If it’s just Japanese kanji that you see around you, like a shop sign or a tattoo, you can send me the photo as long as you are allowed to take picture of it.

I can’t promise to reply to everyone but I’ll try my best!

Email to: info@kansaichick.com