History of Othello

1. Birth of Othello

Birth of Othello in Japan.

The Othello game was originated by Mr. Goro Hasegawa who was a junior high student at the time in Mito, Japan, just after the war ended.The reason why Othello disks are black and white is that they were originally derived from the color of Go stones.

In the early form of the Othello game, a player had to actually pick up his opponent’s stones and replace them with his black or white stone every time he made a capture. Later, in order to play the game more smoothly, disks hand-made out of corrugated board and painted white on one side and black on the other were used. This was the original incarnation of the Othello game.

The game title of Othello is taken from Shakespeare's drama of the same name.

The namer of Othello is Mr. Shiro Hasegawa, who is the father of Goro.
Mr. Shiro Hasegawa, who was a scholar of English literature, enjoyed the continuous reversing of pieces and thus conceived the tale of the black general Othello and his white wife.

The color of the Othello board was established as green in the image of fighting on the prairie.

2. From Japanese Othello Worldwide Othello

The Othello game was launched in Japan in April, 1973 by Tsukuda Co. It sold well and became one of the most popular games in Japan.The Othello game continued to sell well, and in three years after the launch over 2 million games had been sold.

The British Broadcasting Company noticed the popularity of Othello in Japan and arranged matches between the Japanese Othello champion and a British chess master.This match was played in October 1976, and the result was announced worldwide through the mass media.As a result of such publicity, people all over the world began to know about Othello, and the World Othello Federation (WOF) was established in New York in 1977.

In October 1977, the 1st World Othello Championship (WOC) was held in Tokyo. Since then,
WOC has been held every year. The 35th WOC was held in Newark, NJ USA in 2011.

2013 is a memorable year as the 40th anniversary of the release of Othello.
To mark this event, we will hold “Othello World Cup 2013”, a new world tournament, in Japan, the birth place of Othello.