shogi kanji BL

Our Story and Game History

Our (love) story

We are two enthusiasts of the game of Shogi, who found this amazing game by a chance in 2010. The game is was not well known here, so at the beginning, we started attending boardgame and Japanese events in the Czech Republic, where we teach and demo the game. To make teaching shogi easier and faster, we designed our own version, combining Japanese kanji and arrows.

Shogi playing

as time went on…

Most playing sets were unfortunately marked only with Japanese characters (kanji), without helping arrows. We created our first set out of cardboard to try and learn Shogi rules. Then we liked the game so much that we made the first wooden set, that we showed the neighborhood and taught them the rules. Everyone enjoyed the game and wanted us to make it too. So it was only a small step to start selling Shogi all around the world. We are also co-founders of the Czech Association of Shogi.


An interesting IT article

One day Filip read an article about artificial intelligence, that beat the best shogi player. We knew western chess, but what is shogi? And why we never heard about this old game?


Our first shogi sets

We fell in love with each other and with Shogi as well. The first version of our Japanese chess was homemade with laser and every piece was glued together. We completed 20 game sets and we did not know if we will able to sell them all, but it was a hobby so we did not mind.


Japanese and boardgame events

We were contacted by Animefest in Brno, Czech Republic that everybody knows shogi, but nobody knows how to play it. We accepted the invitation and were part of the program where a lot of Japanese enthusiasts bought up all our sets and everyone wanted to learn the rules of the game. Then we started to participate in many other festivals all over the country.


We were invited to Japan!

We have been selected for the Japanese program Pilsen 2015, European City of Culture. For this reason, we were offered a trip to Japan, where our main focus was to learn about Japanese culture, especially the game of Shogi. In the Japanese Shogi Association and the city of Shogi – Tendo, we received substantial feedback for our sets, which helped us in further development.

2016 We got married and started a family! ❤️


A success on kickstarter

We needed to fund better machines for bigger and better production of Shogi game stones. Thanks to a number of people crowdfunding on Kickstarter, we saw that it made sense and a 4th version of our Shogi was created. 


We inspire others and become famous

Our unique approach to Shogi has caught the attention of many people and we are truly flattered. Our goal remains to spread this great game to the world, and if you decide to follow the same path as us, please do not copy our ideas, design, and materials so directly without our knowledge. With a decent request, we will happily provide everything we can.

We keep taking our Japanese chess journey to new heights. Let’s play, learn, and share the joy of Shogi with us!

Shogi variants

Shogi comes in numerous variants. In addition to the traditional Japanese characters (1-kanji and 2-kanji sets), there is a version with international symbols.

2-kanji                              1-kanji

These are hard to come by and lose their oriental charm. We combined the Japanese characters with the international symbols to make the game accessible and interesting.

It is impossible to find these types of pieces. It is our original idea to combine the two markings, understandable by beginners and professionals, who play shogi only in Japanese.

Shogi is similar to the classic game of chess but has interesting changes and addition to the rules. The main change is the re-entry of captured pieces (“drop rule”), which makes the game more engaging and makes unexpected turnover possible. Another addition is the promotion of almost all game pieces. The pieces become stronger, and make the game more interesting (explained further in the rules). New players who have never played chess before can become proficient within two or three games, thanks to our special marking. An experienced chess player can learn even sooner. It is truly a game good for professionals looking for a challenge as well as for beginners.

History of shogi

The exact origin of Shogi is unknown, but it most likely evolved from Chinese chess when it was delivered by the imperial ambassador during the rule of Nara (710-794). It became popular with Japanese nobility in the Heian period (794 – 1185) when the Japanese capital moved from Nara to Kyoto.

The word “Shogi” means “the game of the generals,” which is derived from the word “Shogun”, or “supreme military commander.”

The emperor formally named the Shogun, who ruled the powerful and often rebellious samurai. Real power throughout the empire came from the Shogunate. Another important period in Shogi history is the interruption of the rule of emperor Muromachi (1333-1568) by a family of hereditary shoguns Ashikaga in the capital Kyoto. At this time the most popular version was Dai-shogi (Large Shogi, played on a 13 x 13, or 15 x 15 playing field), opposed to Chu-shogi (Medium Shogi) and Sho-shogi (Small Shogi). Small shogi peaked in popularity by the end of this period, which was played on a 9 x 9 board, because it took the three main pieces from the favoured medium shogi; bishop, rook, and drunken elephant (Sui-zo). The drunken elephant was removed because it had the ability to promote to an emperor, which Emperor Go-Nara (1526-1557) did not like.

The origin of the re-entry of captured playing pieces is not known, but it was probably introduced in the 16th century. At that time, captured soldiers had two options, execution or enter a battle for the enemy.

The modern shogi was developed from a version of Sho-shogi (Small shogi). The rules were officially established and precisely formulated at the beginning of the Edo period (1600-1868; Edo is the former name of Tokyo).

Become a shogi player

Federation of European Shogi Associations

Japan Shogi Association

Czech Association of Shogi

81dojo – Shogi online