Latest News

Thursday, 11th December 2008
In General Japan News,

Japanese chess star challenged by neighbours

A condominium complex's home management body and a number of residents in a Tokyo suburb have filed a lawsuit against a professional shogi player, according to the Associated Press.

Hifumi Kato, a professional shogi - or Japanese chess - player, faces the legal battle because he feeds a number of stray cats in Mitaka, the news source reported.

Mr Kato said that he has been feeding up to ten stray cats at a time in the area out of kindness to the animals since 1993, but the condo management group asserts that this has led to cat waste and damage to the lawn on the property.

He will now appear in the Hachioji branch of Tokyo District Court. The management group and 17 local residents are calling for a stop to his behaviour, as well as an unspecified amount of damages.

Mr Kato holds the title of ninth "dan" - pro shogi's highest rank.

The two-player board game originated between the sixth and 11th centuries and is similar to western chess, although BoardGameGeek suggests that a game of shogi may average around 60 minutes - slightly longer than a game of traditional chess.