Modern Living: Japanese Othello

When Japanese Salesman Goro Hasegawa, 44, invented his simple board game in 1971, his father, a Shakespearean scholar, duly noted that the appeal of the game was based on a series of "dramatic reversals." Perhaps, he suggested, it should be called Othello. Today Othello is a national pastime played by some 25 million Japanese—and a full-blown fad replete with towels, tie clasps, and key chains, all emblazoned with the distinctive Othello emblem. Spearheaded by Fumio Fujita, 27, a barber from outside Tokyo and the game's reigning champion, Othello has invaded England and the...

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