by Kazuhiko Shiotani
24 December 2005
You have probably seen him at tournaments around the world. As the head of the Japanese Backgammon League, Kenji Shimodaira has been the Japanese backgammon Ambassador from Japan for 10 years.
In this interview, he shares with us the history of backgammon in Japan, his personal background, and some not so conventional ways to improve your game.
Hi Kenji, thank you for accepting this interview. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am 43 years old, the president of the Japanese Backgammon League, and am an orthodontist.
How did you start playing backgammon?
During the late 80s, when I was in medical school studying to be a dentist, I used to play shogi (Japanese chess) at a club in Shinjuku, Tokyo. There were players there that were playing backgammon every day. I was very interested in the game but the owner of the club forbid me to play. I look back and want to think that it is because he did not want me to lose focus of shogi as I had potential. But after about two years of watching people play around me, I was finally allowed to play with them and quickly learned
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Bravo Ambassador Kenji, nice to meet you in Paris the last October on the way to Caraibe's Tournament (very nice). I remember you and your kind wife in Sanremo some years ago. My best greetings to you and your wife for an happy and lucky year 2006. And to the friends Michael and Marjorie also, of course, working a lot to improve backgammon in the world. Best wishes from your friend Alberto.
Really enjoyed this interview with Kenji. I have met him several times thru the years at Las Vegas events. A super friendly player and great ambassador for the Japanese contingent and their International tourneys. Kenji's work and accomplishments for backgammon and especially in Japan are very evident. It is his dedication and hard work that inspires others to compete, learn and contribute to our world-wide backgammon communities. __________patrick (director of backgammon in the Los Angeles area of California for over 27 years)
Crowd: Kenji! Kenji! Kenji!
A bientot, mon ami!
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