I’ve been playing Japanese chess, or shogi for about 7-8 years, though I don’t play very often (and I’m not very good). However, while in Japan recently, we found this Shogi set:
This is a special edition Doraemon shogi board. Because there is a new Doraemon movie in theaters right now, they are promoting Doraemon a lot, and we found a special Doraemon store in the Roppongi district of Tokyo where we could buy snacks and other goods. The reason why I bought this set is that the pieces have red-arrows printed on them so children can remember the movements more easily. For example, the silver-general (銀将) and gold-general (金将) have similar moves and players can get confused. I’ve even seen Japanese adults get confused sometimes!
My daughter, “Princess”, loves it. We play shogi about once a week, and she can easily remember where to put the pieces now, but she still doesn’t really know strategy yet. She will learn that in time.
The other reason I bought this set is that it has suggestions for other, simpler games that children can play with Shogi pieces:
This is a game where you pile pieces together and you take turns removing pieces from the pile. If you make any noise, you lose your turn, but if not, you can take more and more pieces. Princess loves this game too.
Princess loves to play video games with Daddy, but I want to encourage her to play more intelligent games like Shogi or Western Chess, so I am glad I bought this. It wasn’t very expensive (¥3000 I think), but I hope she becomes a good shogi player. As a woman and half-Japanese, I think it would be interesting if she becomes a Shogi champion someday, but I don’t want to push her either. It’s more important for her to have fun. 🙂