The game reached Japan from China via Korea in the 7th century CE/AD--where it is called go (碁) or igo (囲碁)--the game became popular at the Japanese imperial court in the 8th century, and among the general public by the 13th century. The literal meaning is "surround game."
Legends trace the origin of the game to the mythical Chinese emperor Yao (23372258 BC/BCE).
1. History of Go in Japan: part 2, Nihon Kiin, archived from the original on 2007-11-14, retrieved 2007-11-02.
2. Handbook of Chinese Mythology, Yang, Lihui; An, Deming; Turner, Jessica Anderson (2005), ABC-CLIO Ltd, p. 228, ISBN 978-1-57607-806-8.