This chapter introduces the basic elements of Weiqi culture in China. This includes the game’s traditional place among the elite in Imperial China, and it also addresses modern manifestations, such as internet competitions. It outlines the ranking system for the game, professional Weiqi players, and the competitions in in East Asia. Although the majority of the book focuses on male culture, this chapter also presents the case of female Weiqi players in China, both amateur and professional. Part of this discussion necessarily explores the naturalization of gender difference and rhetoric concerning the supposedly innate character differences of women and men. The chapter then goes on to outline the ways that Weiqi is associated with masculinity, as well as the similarities and differences of this subculture in Chinese history and the contemporary moment.
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