Korean Go Master to be awarded a medal of honor by Japan

Alexander Vale, May 21, 2019, 9:33 a.m.

Korean baduk or go master Cho Chi-hoon, also known as Cho Chikun in Japan, will be awarded a medal of honor by the Japanese government.

Cho (63) was included in a list of 21 people who are to be given a Medal with Purple Ribbon, which is awareded to individuals who have contributed to academic and artistic developments and accomplishments. The award ceremony takes place on Tuesday.

Cho went to study baduk in Japan at the age of six in 1962, and became the youngest ever person to turn professional at the age of 11 years and nine months in 1968.

He set numerous records at the peak of his career, and currently has 74 titles under his belt, which is the highest number in history in Japan. Cho won three major titles in Japan -- Honinbo, Kisei and Meijin -- simultaneously four times. In the Honinbo competition, the oldest one, he won 10 consecutive titles.

"It is a great honor to receive the same medal as my teacher Minoru Kitani," he said Monday. "I received a lot from Japan, but I love Korea too. It pains me to hear stories about how bilateral relations between Korea and Japan have soured. I hope this is happy news for the people of both countries."

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