Murakawa Daisuke, who was born near Osaka, made professional shodan with the Kansai Kiin at age 11. He has been a frequent member of the Japanese team at the International New Stars tournament, where he has played alongside such current greats as Iyama Yuta and Xie Yimin in competition against young professional teams from China, Chinese Taipei, and Korea. This year, just before the World Mind Games began he earned a place in the Japanese Meijin League, and he celebrated his 22nd birthday during the individual competition in Beijing.

Ranka: How did you get started playing go?
Murakawa: At home, my father and grandfather played go, so I got interested and started playing when I was five year old. Then when I was eight, I became an insei.

Ranka: You’re also known as a student of the Korean language. How did you get started at that?
Murakawa: I go to Korea three times a year to take part in the preliminary rounds of international tournaments. I thought it would be nice to know the language, so I started studying it. I also buy Korean go books. But I’m still in the process of learning the spoken language, and I can’t read the books at all.

Ranka: Are there any particular Korean players whose games interest you, or with whom you have made friends?
Murakawa: I’m interested in the games of Park Jeonghwan, who

played here, and Kim Jiseok, 8-dan. As for making friends, quite a few Korean pros can speak Japanese, so I’ve gotten to know them that way.

Ranka: How did the World Mind Games turn out for you as whole?
Murakawa: Although I wasn’t able to beat any of the Chinese and Korean players, the bronze medal in pair go made it come out all right in the end.

Ranka: Thank you.

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