Sunday, March 26, 2006

Study hard. Go to college. Get a degree ... in Baduk?

VincentV blogs from Switzerland on Let's Go!. In the future, he might have the opportunity to attend Myongji University in Seoul, South Korea, where they offer a degree program in Baduk.

What's interesting is that one of VincentV's colleagues, Jens Henker (aka Tudorus on KGS), is already in the program and I was told that the classes are offered in English!

Update: As I later learned, the classes are taught in Korean.

The degree is conferred by the Department of Baduk Studies under the College of Arts & Physical Education. They have an English website so you can get an overview of the curriculum and descriptions of the courses.

Students there will be expected to have achieved a rank of 5-Dan upon graduation. Here's the introductory text from the department's web page.

The Department of Baduk Studies was established in 1997, for the first time in world history, to pursue an academic study of baduk. Although baduk has been regarded as a precious culture, it had not been studied by the scientific approach due to man's traditional adherence to its technique alone. The department will contribute to the development of baduk culture by providing a variety of knowledge based on a new paradigm beyond the technique-biased approach to Baduk.

As Korea has become the strongest and the most actively Baduk-playing country in the world, it is expected to play a leading role in a variety of activities of Baduk. In response to this trend, the Department of Baduk Studies has been set up with the following aims:

  1. To promote students Baduk strength above the 5 dan level
  2. To acquire a deeper knowledge of life from Baduk culture
  3. To develop and educate the leaders in the field of Baduk
  4. To teach necessary foreign languages to those who can introduce Baduk culture to the world.

The Department teaches Baduk theory and technique systematically, researches Baduk culture in depth, and acquires wide and various knowledge related to Baduk. The graduates will make proper Baduk leaders in Korea and also in foreign countries.

Ming Dynasty Yunzi

Pong Yen of Yellow Mountain Imports is still in China and he sent me some new photos of 500 year-old Yunzi stones. Just the same as today's Yunzi, these stones are single-convex and played with the flat side down.

As is somewhat noticeable in these two photos, the stones are translucent.

This close-up of the stones on a goban show notable differences in size. I don't know if these stones were from the same set or if the variations were typical.

Guangzhou Go street scene

Pong also sent me some photos of the Go street scenes in Guangzhou.

These images very much remind me of the park in San Francisco's Chinatown except that the folks there play Xiangqi instead of Weiqi. I sometimes think that a group of Weiqi players should start having more public games in Chinatown to see if it brings out some closeted players.

As is obvious from these two photos, the play's the thing and aesthetics take a back-seat. The boards are notably beat-up from continuous use. The board centers seem to take the most punishment.


At 10:02 PM, March 26, 2006, Blogger vertigo25 said...

That would be awesome. You're in the East Bay, right? I'm assuming that because of your earlier post about Games of Berkeley.

I'm a complete noob to the game, but I'd be more than glad to meet up with you in Oakland Chinatown sometime.

At 11:55 AM, March 27, 2006, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

LOL! I may take you up on that offer one of these days vertigo25.

I hope we won't be incurring some faux pas by playing in the heart of Chinatown with a Japanese-styled set (even if it was made in Henan).

At 12:16 PM, March 27, 2006, Blogger Andrew Dudzik said...

I'd love to hear more about the degree program in baduk. If anyone knows what the requirements are for the program, or how much is tuition, etc., I'm curious.

At 12:35 PM, March 27, 2006, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

VincentV and Tudorus may have the details. Both play on Kiseido Go Server. I'll relay on this blog whatever I learn from either of them.

It's not a form of continuing education that would mesh well with my current lifestyle; but it may be an option for others.

I would recommend that interested individuals do their due dilligence in examining this degree. Of course, it goes without saying that you must decide if you want to dedicate four years to make this one of your life's vocations.

At 1:19 PM, March 27, 2006, Blogger Let's Go said...

Guess I should write something too :)

It's not yet decided that will go to Myongji, but if everything stays like it is now, I will most likely get the chance to enter. (Only my current rank is worrying me a bit ^^)

I was told pretty much everything I know about Myongji by tudorus. But from what I heard and hear it's a brilliant place to study Baduk. Jam-packed libraries, strong players and lots of other Baduk-activities.

At 2:32 PM, March 27, 2006, Anonymous Leonard Dragomir said...

I’m too very interested about Baduk Studies course. Please share with me anything else you’ll find.

This is a FAQ from professor Nam, Chi-Hyung, I’ve received when I’ve asked about more info.

1. What are the actual prices for foreign students (school fee per semester)? I heard about a scholarship of 70%. Is that correct?
For foreign students, the tutoring fee is about 1500USD per a semester, so if you got 70% scholarship, what you have to pay is about 500USD.

2. What are the estimated additional expenses to be expected for meal and dormitory?
For the dorm, for room for 2 is about 700 USD per a semester, and for 4 is about 600. You have move out during the vacation, and the students here go for Baduk school which has dorm. For this kind Baduk school, the usual fee is about 1000USD a month, and summer and winter vacation are two months each.
Meals are included in that fee, and what you need for your pocket money is up to you.

3. Are there any other preconsumptions for admission I have to take into account?
Hmm....English, and Korean.

4. What are the next steps I have to go in order to get the official admission as soon as possible?
There are documents you need to summit, certifications and bank account etc. You should contact the school agent for preparing this.
5. The Documents and etc.
If you graduated university, or finished at least 2 years' courses,
there is a possibility to shorten the course to 2 years here, and get the Bachelor Degree. For that, the application due about December.

If you haven't been a university student, or just finished less than two years,
then you should take the whole 4 years courses. The due for this is 27th Sept this year.

For both cases, you nees to submit,
1. Certification of you graduation and degrees in high school
2. Passport Copy
3. Financial Guarantee such as your parent's Working Certification etc.
4. Bank Account which has more than 10,000 US Dollars
5. Your Identification in your country.
All these should be in English.

After you are admitted here, then the school agent will send you a paper which you need to get Student VISA.

At 5:54 PM, March 27, 2006, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

Thanks for the additional details VincentV and Leonard! I'm sure many readers will want even more information.

At 10:10 PM, March 27, 2006, Anonymous XCMeijin said...

A degree in Baduk? That's insanely cool! If only Go were more popular, there'd be a course elsewhere too...

I'm (only slightly) surprised there isn't some sort of philosphy incorporated into the curriculum, but perhaps that's included with the cultural studies.

BTW, i wonder if they meant 5-dan amateur or 5-dan pro? And is a high rank necessary to get into the course?



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