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Charles Gilman wrote on 2010-10-11 UTC
It struck me when I first saw this variant that theming a Shogi variant on whales was rather tasteless, for the reasons given by george Duke in previous comments. Even looking beyond that I feel that whales, as huge animals that travel still huger distances over the oceans, do not make a particularly good theme for a small variant full of short-range pieces. The game might have been far better received without the whale theme, and all the pieces have other names in other context. The Dolphin, Killer Whale, and White Whale are long-established standard Shogi pieces, and if their Japanese names are not to your taste my Man and Beast 01: Constitutional Characters suggests simpler English names for them. The rest have names in Man and Beast 12: Alternative Fronts and some also have Japanese names in large Shogi variants:

Whale Shogi nameMan and Beast nameJapanese name
Blue WhaleCoppergeneralDosho (Copper General)
DolphinPointFuhyo (Foot Soldier)
Grey WhaleHunter
HumpbackSilvercowardOld Monkey
Killer WhaleChatelaineRyuo (Dragon King)
NarwhalSnail
PorpoiseWazirfiler
White WhaleKingvaries between players
If anyone knows of Japanese names for the other three I'll happily add them to the table.


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