Shogi (将棋, shōgi) (English: /ˈʃoʊɡiː/, Japanese: [ɕo̞ːŋi] or [ɕo̞ːɡʲi]), also known as Japanese chess or the Game of Generals, is a two-player strategy board game that is the Japanese variant of chess. It is the most popular chess variant in Japan. Shōgi means general's (shō 将) board game (gi 棋).

History[edit | edit source]

Shogi was the earliest chess variant to allow captured pieces to be returned to the board by the capturing player. This drop rule is speculated to have been invented in the 15th century and possibly connected to the practice of 15th century mercenaries switching loyalties when captured instead of being killed.

The earliest predecessor of the game, chaturanga, originated in India in the 6th century, and the game was likely transmitted to Japan via China or Korea sometime after the Nara period. Shogi in its present form was played as early as the 16th century, while a direct ancestor without the drop rule was recorded from 1210 in a historical document Nichūreki, which is an edited copy of Shōchūreki and Kaichūreki from the late Heian period (c. 1120).

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