GO is one of the oldest known games.
Probably it was invented 4000 years ago in China, where the first Go book was written to. In Japain, GO was first introduced in 735 BC by the emperor Shonu. First it was played only by the higher social ranks. In 1603, by the time of Shogun Iyeyasu, the first Go academy was founded and functioned until 1868 (when the last Shogun died).
In the XVII - XIX century, GO become the favorit game of the samurais. In this period also appear many legendes and anecdotes about the game. Between 1868 and 1880 the game fall into oblivion, but after 1880 it was brought to Europe and America.
Since then the number of Go players is raising constantly in the whole world.