A very unique Pokémon Co. interview just took place with an interesting pair of people. In the image above is Pokémon Company President Tsunekazu Ishihara alongside professional shogi player Sota Fujii. The two met for an interview featured in Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, and they shared a discussion of how Pokémon and shogi are surprisingly similar in some regards.

For those who don’t know, shogi is a strategy board game for two players, and it’s the earliest historical chess-related game to allow captured pieces to be returned to the board by the capturing player. (h/t Wiki)

This odd duo came together in honor of the Pokémon Ryuo Tournament 2024, which will run Feb. 25th, 2024 in Japan. The aim of this tournament is to discover the strongest Pokémon player in Japan, and there’s no doubt the battles will be both intriguing and absolutely fierce.

Wondering what the two had to say to each other? You can see a bullet point breakdown of their discussion below.

  • Ishihara and Fujii said that Pokémon and shogi are similar, as both are “mind sports”
  • both games promote strategic thinking abilities in 1v1 player scenarios
  • both games force players to observe their opponent’s movements and plan their own moves
  • Ishihara joked that in the 5-to-6 year age range, there are some naughty children competing
  • people responsible for both Pokémon and shogi tournaments want these kids to compete calmly
  • both sides also would like to make it a rule to shake hands and promote sportsmanship

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