What Is Go Called in Ancient Times?

Go is a popular board game that originated in China. It is also known as Weiqi in Chinese, Igo in Japanese, and Baduk in Korean.

But have you ever wondered what Go was called in ancient times? In this article, we will explore the history of Go and its various names throughout the ages.

The Origin of Go

Go is considered one of the oldest board games still played today. Its exact origins are unclear, but it is believed to have been invented in China over 2,500 years ago. Legend has it that Go was created by Emperor Yao to teach his son discipline, concentration, and balance.

Go’s Early Names

In ancient China, Go was known as various names depending on the dynasty and region. During the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE), it was called Liubo, which means “six sticks” because the game originally used six sticks to determine moves. In the Tang Dynasty (618-907), it was called Xiangqi or “elephant game,” which is also the name of a different Chinese chess variant.

The Spread of Go

Go spread from China to Korea and Japan during the Tang Dynasty through cultural exchange. Each country developed its own style of playing the game and gave it a different name.

In Korea, Go is called Baduk which means “board game”. The Korean style of playing emphasizes aggressive tactics and quick decision-making.

In Japan, Go is called Igo which means “board game of surrounding”. The Japanese style focuses on efficient use of stones and strategic planning.


Through its long history, Go has been known by many names depending on where it was played. While its name may have changed over time and place, its popularity has endured for thousands of years. Whether you call it Weiqi, Baduk, Igo, or simply Go, the game remains a beloved pastime for millions around the world.

So there you have it, a brief history of Go and its various names throughout the ages. Now that you know more about this ancient game’s past, why not try your hand at playing it yourself? Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, there’s always something new to learn and enjoy about this timeless classic.