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Playing games is the most fun – but if you want to really improve your shogi ability, studying shogi will increase your depth of understanding. Books are a great help in this regard. Here are some shogi books available in English.

Japanese Chess: The Game of Shogi
by Trevor Leggett
Tuttle Publishing (2009)
ISBN-10: 4805310367
ISBN-13: 978-4805310366
Paperback: 128 pages

level: beginner


This is a book for learning how to play shogi, and is the only shogi book available for purchase in Vancouver. Originally written in 1966, it explains each of the pieces and their value, includes some novice games and puzzles, and has an overview of several common game openings. It also includes a paper shogi set (board and pieces).


Please note that there is some criticism of this book, particularly that the Roman notation system is confusing.

This book is sometimes available to buy in Vancouver at Murata:

      Address: 15 East Broadway (between Ontario St and Quebec St), Vancouver


Murata – WA Lifestyle Store





Shogi for Beginners
by John Fairbairn
Kiseido Publishing Company (1988)
ISBN-10: 4906574971
ISBN-13: 978-4906574971
Paperback: 128 pages
previously published by The Shogi Association (1987) and by The Ishi Press (1984)

level: beginner

Fairbairn cover

This book “…explains the rules and strategies of shogi clearly and in detail. It covers everything you need to know, from the opening through the endgame, so that you can start playing right away.”

Habu’s Words
by Yoshiharu Habu
translated by Yamato Takahashi and Tony Hoskings
The Shogi Foundation (2000)
ISBN-10: 0953108929
ISBN-13: 978-0953108923
Paperback: 128 pages


“In this book Mr Habu’s clear and penetrating insight reveals how to think like a professional player. Each game given has been carefully chosen by him to illustrate an important theme of shogi thinking. The games selected are by players (with grades ranging from 15-kyu to 5-dan) from various countries around the world – Belgium, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Holland, Sweden, Thailand, USA. By studying Habu’s Words the amateur player can step up from one level of play to the next.”


Available from The Shogi Foundation (UK) and NEKOMADO (Japan).

The Art of Shogi
by Tony Hosking
The Shogi Foundation (second edition, 1997)
ISBN-10: 0953108902
ISBN-13: 978-0953108909
Paperback: 288 pages

level: beginner to intermediate


This book includes:

  • An account of professional shogi in Japan (20 million Japanese can play!).
  • In-depth guide to strategy and openings (plus handicap games).
  • 108 annotated professional game references, including the first 8 title games outside Japan.
  • Comparison and brief history of shogi and Western chess – which share the objective of checkmate, and some similar movement of pieces (kings, rooks, bishops, knights, pawns).
  • Captured shogi pieces change sides and can re-enter play, making nearly every game exciting and decisive!


Available from The Shogi Foundation (UK) and NEKOMADO (Japan).

Better Moves for Better Shogi
by Aono Teruichi
translated by John Fairbairn
Ishi Press (second edition, 2009)
ISBN-10: 4871879992
ISBN-13: 978-4871879996
Paperback: 320 pages

level: intermediate to advanced

Better Moves for Better Shogi - cover

This is a bilingual book (English and Japanese) written by 9-dan professional shogi player Aono Teruichi. According to one description: “This book is by far the best and the most advanced book ever written in the English language about shogi. It goes through all aspects of the game, including complicated opening variations.”


Additional books can be found on ShogiHub’s books page.


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