I’m moving most of my Japanese Chess site over here while I’m migrating to a new server. I used to actually have a large shogi presence here on Gene Davis Software, but let it lapse. I’m working to bring back all the shogi fun to this site.
I’ve been seeing a lot more references to shogi in pop culture and books about chess these last few years. Also, lots of the latest generation reaching adulthood in the United States are familiar with Shogi, even if they don’t know the rules.
Recently, I found a whole section on shogi in pop culture on Wikipedia, which I was surprised was actually incomplete.
In the manga series Naruto, shogi plays an essential part in Shikamaru Nara’s character development. He often plays it with his sensei, Asuma Sarutobi, apparently always beating him. When Asuma is fatally injured in battle, he reminds Shikamaru that the shogi king must always be protected, and draws a parallel between the king in shogi and his yet-unborn daughter, Mirai, whom he wanted Shikamaru to guide.
Shogi has been a central plot point in the manga and anime Shion no Ō, the manga and anime March Comes in Like a Lion, and the manga and television drama 81diver.
In the manga and anime Durarara!!, the information broker Izaya Orihara plays a twisted version of chess, go and shogi, where he mixes all three games into one as a representation of the battles in Ikebukuro.
In the video game Persona 5, the Star confidant is a high school shogi player looking to break into the ranks of the professionals. The player character will gain knowledge stat when spending time with the confidant, supposedly from learning to play shogi. The abilities learned from ranking up the confidant comes from Japanese shogi terms.
I have to recommend March Comes in Like a Lion, by the way. You can find it on Crunchyroll I’ve been watching that anime recently. It’s about a young and rising professional shogi master. Absolutely, a must watch for any Japanese chess fan.