Shogi Shogi variants
Home :: Shogi

Meijin - shogi

Meijin (名人) is one of the seven titles in Japanese professional shogi, and is the most prestigious title, along with Ryu-oh. This should not be confused with the "Amateur Meijin" title that is awarded each year to the winner of the Amateur Meijin Tournament. The word "meijin" means "an excellent person" in a certain field. ("mei"(名) = excellent, artful) ("jin"(人) = person)

History

The Meijin institution started in the 17th century (Edo period), and for around 300 years was a hereditary title that was passed from the reigning Meijin upon his retirement or death to another selected from three families, as deemed to be worthy. In 1935, however, the Japan Shogi Association (日本将棋連盟 nihon shōgi renmei), or JSA, announced that it was abolishing the existing system of succession in favor of something more short-term and reflective of actual playing strength. In 1937, the reigning 13th Meijin Kinjiro Sekine, who had received his title under the old system and was 70 years old at the time, voluntarily gave up his title so that a new Meijin could be decided through actual tournament play. Later that year Yoshio Kimura, who was a student of Sekine, became the first Meijin to gain the title based upon actual performance by winning a tournament which included eight other top players. From 1937 to 1947, the challenger for the Meijin title was determined through tournaments involving a select number of players. Finally, in 1947, the JSA officially established the preliminary round of ranking tournaments (順位戦 jun'isen) that it currently uses.

Qualifying

The Meijin ranking tournaments are divided into five leagues/classes (A, B1, B2, C1, C2) and players compete against others within their class throughout the year. Players who perform well during league play may be promoted to the next highest class while those who perform poorly may be relegated to the next lowest one. New professionals are placed at the bottom of the Class C2 league, and the top three players of Class C2 are promoted to Class C1 for the next year. Similarly, the top two players of Classes C1, B2, B1 are promoted to the B2, B1, and A, respectively, for the next year. The winner of the Class A league earns the right to challenge the reigning Meijin title holder in a 7-game match for the title. A new professional, therefore, needs at least five years experience (5 successive promotions) after their debut before they can qualify to challenge for the title of Meijin.

Lifetime Meijin

The Lifetime Meijin (永世名人 eisei meijin) title was established by the JSA in 1952. Players who capture the Meijin title five times (does not have to be consecutive) qualify to receive this title, but are only officially awarded it upon their retirement or death.

Past winners

Below is a list of past Meijin title holders from 1937 when the new method for determining the title holder was established. The number in parenthesis represents the culmulative times the player had won the title to date.

No. Year Winner Score Opponent Note
1 1937 Yoshio Kimura
2 1940 Yoshio Kimura (2) 4-1 Ichitaroh Doi
3 1942 Yoshio Kimura (3) 4-0 Tatsunosuke Kanda
4 1943 Yoshio Kimura (4) No match held. Kimura retained title by default.
5 1944 Yoshio Kimura (5) No match held. Kimura retained title by default.
6 1947 Masao Tsukada 4-2 Yoshio Kimura
7 1948 Masao Tsukada (2) 4-2 Yasuharu Ōyama
8 1949 Yoshio Kimura (6) 3-2 Masao Tsukada
9 1950 Yoshio Kimura (7) 4-2 Yasuharu Ōyama
10 1951 Yoshio Kimura (8) 4-2 Kozoh Masuda
11 1952 Yasuharu Ōyama 4-1 Yoshio Kimura
12 1953 Yasuharu Ōyama (2) 4-1 Kozoh Masuda
13 1954 Yasuharu Ōyama (3) 4-1 Kozoh Masuda
14 1955 Yasuharu Ōyama (4) 4-2 Kazukiyo Takashima
15 1956 Yasuharu Ōyama (5) 4-0 Motoji Hanamura
16 1957 Kozoh Masuda 4-2 Yasuharu Ōyama
17 1958 Kozoh Masuda (2) 4-2 Yasuharu Ōyama
18 1959 Yasuharu Ōyama (6) 4-1 Kozoh Masuda
19 1960 Yasuharu Ōyama (7) 4-1 Hifumi Katoh
20 1961 Yasuharu Ōyama (8) 4-1 Yuzoh Maruta
21 1962 Yasuharu Ōyama (9) 4-0 Tatsuya Futakami
22 1963 Yasuharu Ōyama (10) 4-1 Kozoh Masuda
23 1964 Yasuharu Ōyama (11) 4-2 Tatsuya Futakami
24 1965 Yasuharu Ōyama (12) 4-1 Michiyoshi Yamada
25 1966 Yasuharu Ōyama (13) 4-2 Kozoh Masuda
26 1967 Yasuharu Ōyama (14) 4-1 Tatsuya Futakami
27 1968 Yasuharu Ōyama (15) 4-0 Kozoh Masuda
28 1969 Yasuharu Ōyama (16) 4-3 Michio Ariyoshi
29 1970 Yasuharu Ōyama (17) 4-1 Rensho Nada
30 1971 Yasuharu Ōyama (18) 4-3 Kozoh Masuda
31 1972 Makoto Nakahara 4-3 Yasuharu Ōyama
32 1973 Makoto Nakahara (2) 4-0 Hifumi Katoh
33 1974 Makoto Nakahara (3) 4-3 Yasuharu Ōyama
34 1975 Makoto Nakahara (4) 4-3 Nobuyuki Ouchi
35 1976 Makoto Nakahara (5) 4-3 Kunio Yonenaga
1977 Makoto Nakahara No match held. Nakahara retained title by default.
36 1978 Makoto Nakahara (6) 4-2 Keiji Mori
37 1979 Makoto Nakahara (7) 4-2 Kunio Yonenaga
38 1980 Makoto Nakahara (8) 4-1 Kunio Yonenaga
39 1981 Makoto Nakahara (9) 4-1 Kiyozumi Kiriyama
40 1982 Hifumi Katoh 4-3 Makoto Nakahara
41 1983 Koji Tanigawa (1) 4-2 Hifumi Katoh
42 1984 Koji Tanigawa (2) 4-1 Hidemitsu Moriyasu
43 1985 Makoto Nakahara (10) 4-2 Koji Tanigawa
44 1986 Makoto Nakahara (11) 4-1 Yasuharu Ōyama
45 1987 Makoto Nakahara (12) 4-2 Kunio Yonenaga
46 1988 Koji Tanigawa (3) 4-2 Makoto Nakahara
47 1989 Koji Tanigawa (4) 4-0 Kunio Yonenaga
48 1990 Makoto Nakahara (13) 4-2 Koji Tanigawa
49 1991 Makoto Nakahara (14) 4-1 Kunio Yonenaga
50 1992 Makoto Nakahara (15) 4-3 Michio Takahashi
51 1993 Kunio Yonenaga 4-0 Makoto Nakahara
52 1994 Yoshiharu Habu 4-2 Kunio Yonenaga
53 1995 Yoshiharu Habu (2) 4-1 Taku Morishita
54 1996 Yoshiharu Habu (3) 4-1 Toshiyuki Moriuchi
55 1997 Koji Tanigawa (5) 4-2 Yoshiharu Habu
56 1998 Yasumitsu Satoh 4-3 Koji Tanigawa
57 1999 Yasumitsu Satoh (2) 4-3 Koji Tanigawa
58 2000 Tadahisa Maruyama 4-3 Yasumitsu Satoh
59 2001 Tadahisa Maruyama (2) 4-3 Koji Tanigawa
60 2002 Toshiyuki Moriuchi 4-0 Tadahisa Maruyama
61 2003 Yoshiharu Habu (4) 4-0 Toshiyuki Moriuchi
62 2004 Toshiyuki Moriuchi (2) 4-2 Yoshiharu Habu
63 2005 Toshiyuki Moriuchi (3) 4-3 Yoshiharu Habu
64 2006 Toshiyuki Moriuchi (4) 4-2 Koji Tanigawa
65 2007 Toshiyuki Moriuchi (5) 4-3 Masataka Goda
66 2008 Yoshiharu Habu (5) 4-2 Toshiyuki Moriuchi
67 2009 Yoshiharu Habu (6) 4-3 Masataka Goda
68 2010 Yoshiharu Habu (7) 4-0 Hiroyuki Miura
69 2011 Toshiyuki Moriuchi (6) 4-3 Yoshiharu Habu
70 2012 Toshiyuki Moriuchi (7) 4-2 Yoshiharu Habu
71 2013 Toshiyuki Moriuchi (8) 4-1 Yoshiharu Habu
72 2014 Yoshiharu Habu (8) 4-0 Toshiyuki Moriuchi
73 2015 Yoshiharu Habu (9) 4-1 Hisashi Namekata

Records

Read more:

COMMENTS
Tabletop games: Rules and Strategy