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  • Mr. Takanori Hashimoto

    Posted on June 25th, 2009 keving 1 comment

    Hello, Magweaselers. Today I want to talk to you about Mr. Takanori Hashimoto, 7th dan in professional shogi over in Japan.

    Here’s what Hashimoto looks like:

    2957061202_01That was him in 2004, around the time he became good enough to show up on NHK’s Sunday shogi broadcasts.

    He changes his hairstyle a lot, too:

    Despite his big, beady eyes flitting all over the place in the above video, Hashimoto has a habit of staring at the camera while he’s playing in a televised tournament, something that no doubt pisses off NHK-TV directors:

    295724269s

    As the 26-year-old Hashimoto puts it, he changes his hairstyle and clothing frequently because he passed by a girl watching shogi on a department-store TV one afternoon and heard her comment that nobody but otaku-looking guys with glasses ever plays the game. The effort’s paid off for him, and for the sport — despite some criticism, Hashimoto triples NHK’s shogi ratings whenever he shows up on TV.

    Earlier this week Hashimoto made it to the final match of the Ōi-sen, one of the seven professional tournaments held every year in Japan. Sadly, he lost to Kazuki Kimura, an 8th-dan player who I’m not even going to post a picture of because he looks like every Japanese middle-aged salaryman you’ve ever seen. Sad. Best of luck next time, Mr. Crazy Hair.


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