Gomoku - A Japanese board game

Gomoku is a board game based on rational thinking and neat judgment. This is a Japanese game by tradition and is related to the game of Gobang that has the same board and pieces. In many English countries this game is recognized by the name Five in a Row so as to attempt to be as a popular board game.

Gobang has rules and steps that are much simpler and different as compared to that of Gomoku. Hence Gobang is mostly preferred and enjoyed by kids more than adults. But despite its simples rules Gomoku has a strategy and plan more complex and tough than the modern Connect Four and Tic Tac Toe (also called Nine Mens Morris). It seems that this historic board game is more than 4000 years old and that its rules have been created in ancient China.

But we can find a similar board game possessing the same kind of rules, also in the research of ancient Greece and pre-Columbian civilities of America. The Gomoku game, is a classic board game of alignment, like the modern Connect four, and has also many variants, recognized by various names.

The Gomoku board game was introduced in Japan around 270 BC, with the name of Kakugo (which means "five steps" in Japanese), and soon became a national activity, at least is described in this way by a book of 100 AD and it seems that every Japanese of the eighteenth century knew its rules. The first modern volume on this board game, called Kakugo, appeared in 1858. Around 1885, the people in Europe started playing Gomoku actively and in England it was known as Spoil Five, another well-known variant of this classic board game in which the pieces are arranged in a box format instead of in the intersections.