Madoka Kitao, a Japanese professional Shogi player, recently visited Melbourne and Sydney to hold Shogi workshops. Australia is the 26st country she has visited for her workshops.
Shogi, Japanese chess, is a two-player strategy board game native to Japan. As each Shogi piece has kanji characters, it is not easy especially for kids and non-Japanese speakers to learn how to play Shogi.
To make Shogi more accessible, Madoka invented a small Shogi variant of 3 X 4 squares, named Let's Catch the Lion!: Japanese Animal Chess. According to Madoka, more than 95% of Shogi players in Japan are male. Madoka has been trying to attract children, especially girls, and non-Japanese people to Shogi. That was one of the reasons why she invented the lion game.
In the audio, Madoka tells us how she started playing Shogi and what made her travel abroad to hold Shogi workshops.