Shogi prodigy Sota Fujii has made a name for himself in the world of professional shogi. At just 20 years old, he has reached heights that few players ever have, cementing his legacy in what is now being referred to as the “Fujii Era”.
Sota Fujii recently won the prestigious Meijin championship on June 1, 2023. This makes him the youngest player in history to hold this title, breaking the previous record set by Koji Tanigawa in 1983 when he was 21 years, two months old. This championship win is significant as it marks Fujii as the second player ever to hold seven major titles simultaneously in shogi, a feat only previously achieved by Yoshiharu Habu in 1996 when he was 25.
Fujii holds seven of the eight major titles in shogi. The only title not held by Fujii is Oza, which is currently held by Takuya Nagase.
Fujii’s journey to this point has been marked by a series of impressive achievements. He turned professional at the age of 14 and two months and won his first major title, Kisei, in July 2020 when he was just 17 and 11 months old. His use of artificial intelligence software to improve his skills has undoubtedly contributed to his success.
Despite his extraordinary achievements, Fujii remains humble. He has expressed gratitude for how far he has come and his commitment to continue improving his skills. His favorite saying is said to be, “A post-game analysis exists for the loser,” reflecting his commitment to constantly learning and improving from every game, regardless of the outcome.
The future looks bright for Fujii, and fans of shogi around the world are watching with anticipation to see how far this prodigy will go. As Toshihiko Kawaguchi, an 8-dan pro shogi player, once stated, “Every Meijin is someone who is chosen by the entire shogi community as an offering to the god of shogi.” Surely the god of shogi is looking down on Fujii with joyous anticipation.