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Civilization bent toward disaster, warned radical thinker Umehara

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As a boy, philosopher Takeshi Umehara, who died on Jan. 12 at age 93, often remained cooped up in his room, absorbed in solitary play.

The game he loved above all else was "yakyu shogi" (baseball shogi), which he learned to play from a magazine.

Lining up shogi pieces on the board, he enacted make-believe baseball games between Keio University and Waseda University and even kept score.

Deeply immersed as he was in a private world of fantasy that almost verged on insanity, young Umehara also invented his own games for other sports, such as swimming and track and field, all played on the shogi board.

It was only after he started university that he finally snapped out of his fantasy world, Umehara recalled in one of........

© The Asahi Shimbun