Yoshiharu Habu's Biography
Who is Yoshiharu Habu?Yoshiharu Habu was born in Tokorozawa, Saitama near Tokyo on 27 September 1970.
His father was an engineer and his mother a housewife.
Yoshiharu Habu learnt shogi when he was 6 and entered Shoreikai in December 1982. Shoreikai relates to the apprentice professional grades from 6-kyu to 3-dan.
He became a fully-fledged professional shogi player when he was 15 and reached the 4-dan level. Habu was only the third ever junior high school student to turn professional.
An example of how impressive Habu's record was at 17, is this quote from John Fairburn writing in the English magazine Shogi issue number 68, published July 1987:
"Best win-loss ratio last year, most games played, 15 wins in a row, prize for best newcomer ..."
In 1989 Yoshiharu Habu became the youngest-ever player to win a title when he took the Ryuo title at just 19 years old.
On February 14, 1996, at the age of 25, Yoshiharu Habu completed the extraordinary feat of winning his 7th title, thereby becoming the only person in history to simultaneously possess all seven crowns: Meijin, Ryuo, Kio, Oza, Kisei, Oi and Osho.
In July 1995 Habu married the actress Rie Hatada. They had a daughter in July 1997 and another in November 1999.
Asked by Japan Times, how he would describe himself, Yoshiharu Habu modestly replied, "In a word, I'm indecisive."
Reijer Grimbergen's site has a list of Habu's accomplishments including his promotions and his tournament victories.
In February 2011, Yoshiharu Habu came first in the Japan Shogi Association's ranking of earnings through official shogi games with 116 million yen.
In 2012, Habu broke the record for number of titles gained when he reached 81. He has since gone on to win even more titles.
Also, in 2012, Habu gave a talk to TEDxTokyo - the video is embedded below:
In December 2017, Habu won the Ryuo tournament, and so became the first shogi player to hold the unique “eisei” (eternity) honour for all seven major titles.
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