The Chinese strategy game called Go or Igo in Japanese has been around for millennia. The rules are among the simplest in existence but the underlying theory to winning is so vastly complex it takes a high degree of experience, patience, and observation to succeed.
Perhaps it’s that same complexity that’s keeping younger generations in Japan from picking a bowl of stones. However, that’s not stopping Igo associations who have developed the ultimate stratagem for hooking new players: a Go-themed free girls’ magazine with topics such as extreme go and finding your dream Go-playing soul-mate.
Some pages uploaded to Twitter show us the contents of Goteki magazine such as “This is an Igogirl!” An Igogirl has black or dark-brown hair and a natural make-up style and, among having other characteristics, enjoys getting presents.
Interestingly, although there’s only one type of Igogirl, there are a four species of Igomen: Yuru Fuwa Shikkari Igomen, Cabbage Roll Igomen, Chara Maji Igomen, and Ora Ama Igomen. They all seem to be walking contradictions, such as Chara Maji Igomen who appear to be fast-and-loose playboys, but deep down inside are very sincere and honest. And then there’s Cabbage Roll Igomen whom I assume are flavorful but have a slightly pungent tangy odor.
Now that you know the kinds of Igomen that are out there, you can use this handy love map to determine which Igomen you’d fall for.
Glancing at these three pages, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of talk about the actual game of Go. However, I think we can assume there’s a lot of Mr. Miyagi style metaphors buried in these lessons of Igogirl/Igomen romance that will help young players up their games.
Those who witnessed the pages found this PR tactic interesting:
“That’s a new look for Igo.”
“Hey! It’s Othello!”
“This reminds me of that gyoza campaign a while back.”
“I learned Igo and am really into it now. I wish I started when I was younger.”
There were also a lot of comparisons to shogi (Japanese chess) themed manga that have been released such as 81diver. In fact, some have said they felt a resurgence in the old Go-themed Weekly Shonen Jump series Hikaru No Go recently, possibly with the help of Igo associations in the country.
Manga and anime have been used in the past to introduce less popular activities like basketball and soccer to Japanese youths with relative success. This may be the first time a girls’ magazine was used with that purpose though. We’ll know it worked when we see Igogirls walking around with dark hair and sakura-pink dresses.
▼ There are also some sexy photo spreads in Goteki magazine featuring high level Igo players like Akihiko Fujita. Hot!