As an iconic strategy game, go (weiqi) has long played an important cultural role throughout East Asia. This article examines representations of go in a variety of essays and especially poems. In doing so, it demonstrates that go was hardly a mere pastime, good only for leisure and relaxation. Rather, writers and poets wove the game into a rich brocade of imagery that expressed and reinforced a host of sophisticated ideals prized by the literati. From the religious to moral to political realms, go was one of the most important metaphorical tools available to authors who would claim literati status.

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