“At present, our Yongzi Go Academy receives about 1 million visitors per year. The constant arrivals of tourists have brought new opportunities to the shops, restaurants, hotels, and hostels as well as travel agencies around the academy,” says Tao Xiaochang, the chairman of Yongzi Cultural Industry Company in Baoshan, southwest Yunnan. Baoshan, also known as
Yongchang in the past, is particularly famous for its production of Go game stones which has lasted for about 1,200 years. In 2013, the skills of making these Go pieces appeared in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Yunnan Province.
In recent years, a series of competitions have been held by the Yongzi Go Academy to promote not only the academy itself but the Go game as a whole. During the 2019 Master Series in Baoshan, several Go players with international fames were invited to the city, encompassing Ma Xiaochun and Chang Hao from China, Shinji Takao from Japan, and Lee Chang-ho from South Korea.
“Through the series, more people from the world have come to know this game and its status as intangible cultural heritage,” Tao Xiaochang highlights.