Hikaru Shindo (進藤ヒカル Shindō Hikaru) is the main protagonist of Hikaru no Go, first a sixth grader uninterested in Go, then an Insei and finally a 1 Dan Professional. His passion in Go was sparked thanks to a chance meeting with the ghost, and mentor Fujiwara no Sai.
Hikaru is average-sized young man with green eyes. He has short black hair with blonde bangs. He is often portrayed wearing clothing having the numeral "5"; this is a pun on the Japanese word for five: 五, which is pronounced go. As a child he tended to dress in sportier, casual clothes, but as he got older he began to wear slightly more formal attire.
Hikaru originally starts off as being a short-tempered kid who doesn't really care about anything. He tends to blurt out his thoughts for example, when he told the mistake to one of the children during their game when Sai point it out .
Hikaru tends to be emotional and tends to get easily annoyed when things does not goes as planned. He would also raise his voice at Akari for distracting his focus when he's lost.
As he advanced in Go, he became more mature and serious. He is seen to be quite emotional sometimes and has a decent amount of rivalry in him, mostly towards Akira. However, in Akira's case, even being much older, he still acts like a kid, often picking fights with him over trivial things.
As a kid, Hikaru was a normal boy who never cared about his studies or anything else. It appears that he was friends with Akari Fujisaki since they were little.
Hikaru first went to his grandfather's house and went up to his attic where he and Akari find a bloodstained goban. There, he meets a spirit named Sai and he passes out shortly after. Upon meeting him, Sai explained his past that he served the Emperor as Go instructor during The Heian Period state. He was happy for him to play Go every day there was another Go Instructor who challenge Sai and told the Emperor that he only need one instructor decide who will keep their position during the Sai notice that his opponent slip a white stone place among his prisoner. When Sai about to protest The Instructor accuse Sai place a black stone and that is place among his prisoner but Sai told he was the one who did that but the Emperor tells them to silent and state he does want to hear anything disgraceful happening in his presence and order to continue the game.
This resulted Sai too unable to maintain his composure and resulted him losing the game. Sai was banished from the capital unable to do anything else for living three days later Sai commit suicide by casting himself into a river. Sai wasn't able to find peace and his soul was trapped in Go Board one day Sai Heard Child's voice met Young Boy name Torajiro who eventually became known Honinbo Shusaku and Torajiro accept Sai request to let him play go when ever he wants however Torajiro pass away result in him to be sealed in the Go Board one again.
After that Sai then asked Hikaru if he wanted to play Go but Hikaru refused at the time he had no interest in in the game. Hikaru eventually gives in to Sai's request after Sai sadness and scream cause him to vomit and sets out for the nearest Go Salon. Hikaru and Sai arrived the Go Salon where he meets Akira Toya and asks him to play unaware of how strong he is. Akira agrees to play him. Through Hikaru Sai beats Akira leaving the young prodigy devastated. Seemingly unaware of Akira's torment Hikaru then received a flyer about a Youth Go Tournament from the Cashier where many kids will play. Hikaru and Sai race home.
The Next Day Hikaru attend a Go class learning how to play but, Hikaru had no idea what the Go teacher was talking but Sai Points out that Hikaru was still a Beginner in the game. The Go teacher Shirakawa ask if Hikaru ever plays and then Show him Ladder a type of Go Strategy Sai wonder how strong Shirakawa is. Hikaru told Sai that he is Professional Go Player and that he can make a living by just playing go. When a person name Akota bully a player who is weaker than him Sai did not like it and ask Hikaru to switch with Akota's opponent to teach him a lesson. However Hikaru instead place a bowl of go-stone on Akota head and Shake off his wig which resulting Shirakawa telling Hikaru to leave which upsets Sai.
However, Hikaru recalls the flyer he receives from the Go Salon Cashier and went there Hikaru then saw kids playing Go were even younger than him and was amazed by the intensity and Sai was awe point out that his devotion to Go is 1000 years old, but see that all of the kids had the same passion. While Hikaru was wondering around Sai notice that shape that would leave the opponent dead there and point that best move is 1-2 Hikaru then blurt out what Sai points out and a go professional notices him and take him away for Kibitzing. Later Hikaru was scolded for his action and later let go after that while then Hikaru bumps into Koyo Toya and told him to be careful, Sai felt an intense aura in Koyo and believe he might be closet to the divine move.
Soon after that Hikaru and Sai began to argue Hikaru blaming Sai for what happen but Sai points out that it's his fault as he was the one to blurt it aloud later Akira arrive to find Hikaru. Hikaru was surprised to see Akira and ask him what he doing then ask if Akira was playing in tournament Akira then ask if Hikaru was- Hikaru told him that he just went to watch.
Akira checks Hikaru's hand and notice that Hikaru figure nail wasn't worn out from pickup stone showing that Hikaru was beginner and remember Ms. Ichikawa statement about Hikaru never play a game before Akira then ask Hikaru if he had plans to become a pro, Hikaru laughs that him being a pro and never even thought about it and ask Akira if he was planning become a pro and reply he was. Hikaru ask if that what Akira want to do and ask how much money does a professional go player make Akira Answer and state that a pro would earn 120 Million Yen if he earns all title Hikaru was astonished how much he can make by playing go and earning a title and ask Sai if was good enough to earn the Meijin title however Sai disapprove playing go for money
Hikaru state it wouldn't be bad go pro and win a title or two Akira was enrage Hikaru's words and told him that he had insult every Professional out there Akira ask Hikaru that he doesn't realize how difficult it is to become a pro and tell him that a person must persevere and make sacrifice and most people despair and still wasn't good enough and that he met many kind players like that starting with his Father Akira told Hikaru that he work hard persevere and make sacrifice as well since he only two years old he spend everyday playing go hour and hour and did his best and kept playing Akira express his frustrations why he had lost to someone like Hikaru who hold his stone as a beginner and conclude that he underestimated him because he thought he was beginner Akira then challenges Hikaru to a game, however, Hikaru was hesitating as he already spent his time the tournament, however, Sai enrage stated that they barely spend time at the tournament it was Hikaru fault and tell him to accept it
Akira then drags Hikaru to the train station Hikaru wonder why Akira was so angry at him state he was just joking Sai, however, doubt Hikaru and ask if he was really joking Hikaru express frustration why can't people take a joke. Hikaru Ask Sai that he beat Akira by 2 points and know that it isn't easier to be a pro. Sai told Hikaru he wasn't intending to win and it was just a teaching game explain that the teacher guide the player to make correct move and must refrain overwhelming their opponent and that he never go all out against a child. Hikaru consider not surprising and Sai was better than Akira since he was just kid and is the same age as him but Sai told him that Akira does not possess the behavior a child while Akira need time to grow Sai felt that the move that Akira made was superb and feel that Akira baring his fang at him but agreed that Akira is still a child and was no match for him.
Upon Returning to the Go Salon and Sai and Akira began playing the game became intense but Sai, however, overwhelm him and the game ended with Akira resigning much to Hikaru surprise since it half what they did before Hikaru attempt to cheer Akira up but couldn't hear anything that he said and Hikaru left the Go Salon while walking home Hikaru ask Sai why he played so hard on Akira Sai answer that Akira did not give him the Luxurious to go easy on him
The next day Hikaru think about Akira later went to the Go Salon Sai ask if they going to play go however he decide not to go in which upset Sai on why they went all the way there however Hikaru was Drag by Ogata who saw Hikaru at Youth Tournament at Go Association and drag him into the Salon where Hikaru meet Akira's Father Koyo Toya he was interested in Hikaru because He couldn't Believe that his Son would lose to someone at his own age and want to know how good Hikaru is. Hikaru was hesitant but Sai ask him to play the match because he has played many strong players and that that he shares the same fire Hikaru heed Sai request and play while playing he felt an immense intensity which causes Hikaru making a move by his own accord which results Hikaru ran out the Go Salon
Later Hikaru accused Sai of taking control of his body. Sai pointed out Hikaru made that move on his own accord and didn't place the stone where tell him to though Hikaru didn't believe him, Hikaru, later meet Akari by coincidence and invite Hikaru to go Haze Middle School Festival with though Hikaru refuses. When Akari left Sai suggested that Hikaru should go
Go Middle School Tournament Arc
Internet Go Arc
Hikaru went Professionals Go Match with Kimihiro but left due to finding it too boring He later found a Display about playing Go Online and Discover he doesn't need to reveal his identity after watching a Player resign due making a simple mistake where He saw a message berated for resigning and began learning how play Go online
During summer vacation, Hikaru lets Sai plays Go over the internet. Unbeknownst to him, Sai becomes a sensational topic among Go players who played or seen him on the internet Go. Due to the get around talks, Akira had a chance to play Sai on the internet and find him similar to the first time he played Hikaru and Challange to a Match which he accepts and Sai beat him and Sai noted that Akira has gotten stronger and Hikaru also got stronger too from watching all his matches on the Internet
Later Hikaru later goes to the internet cafe to let Sai play Go where Akira confronted Hikaru thinking he was Sai, After a confrontation, Hikaru tells Akira that if he keeps chasing his illusion, he might one day be the one to surpass him while decide to stop playing Go on the Internet after learning that people attempt to find out who Sai was. After he discovers Akira is already a Go pro from Kishimoto and he will not be able to reach him in his position right now, Hikaru decides to become an Insei, which is a step to help to become a professional player.
Hikaru and his mother went to the Go Association to take the exam to become an Insei, after the Insei instructor asks Hikaru if it's true that he does not have a teacher- Hikaru answers yes: although he has Sai as his teacher that follows him around like a Dog, Sai felt offended by his comment. The Insei Instructor was shocked when he learned that Hikaru plays all three games at the same time and was able to play well at his first try enabling Hikaru to pass the Insei Test.
After Hikaru take a look around take a look at a group of Insei who is studying a game and Waya a insei notice Hikaru watching Waya notice him asked him did he past the Insei
Pro Exam Arc
Sai vs Meijin Arc
Sai Disappearance Arc
Hikaru stopped playing Go because he wished Sai would come back. Shindo traveled around to places where Shusaku Torajiro is related, hoping to find Sai but to no avail. Desperate, he then hoped that if he stopped playing Sai might come back to play for him and lost his motivation to play Go.
Chinese Go Association Arc
When Isumi returns from his trip to China and Learn that Hikaru hasn't been playing his go matches from Waya He later comes to Hikaru's houses tries to force Hikaru hand to play Go with him in order for him truly determine who would win the Match they had during the Pro Exam. While playing Hikaru then regained back his passion after realizing Sai exists in his 'Go' after he made a move that Sai would have played. Shortly afterward Hikaru rush to Go Association and Meet Akira where told him that he will Catch up to Him
Shindo makes his comeback wins but gets stuck in beginner 1-dan status because of his previous forfeited/no show games. He also buys a symbolic hand fan that looks similar to the one Sai holds.
During a lunch break for a match with Akira, Akira tells him that there was another someone in Hikaru like the one he felt when playing him the first time they met. Hikaru felt pleasant that someone 'recognizes' Sai, not 'as' him but as Sai. Before leaving, Hikaru tells Akira that some day he might tell him the whole story. Akira chases him and Hikaru tells him off that its some day in a far future, not the present.
Hikaru later visits the Go Salon Akira frequented and they get into arguments a lot, resulting in Hikaru leaving. The people there seems to be used to their behavior.
Hokuto Cup Arc
After Hikaru discovers that Akira doesn't need to participate in the selection match, he decided not to visit the Go Salon they meet frequently until he passes the selection matches and declared that he will achieve the Divine Move.
Hikaru insisted on playing first board against Korea due to a misunderstanding with Ko Yongha, Korea's first board. Yongha later chose not to correct the misunderstanding but instead chose to anger Hikaru further and want to see how Hikaru would think of him as a person who insulted Shusaku. As Sai was possessing Shusaku once, Hikaru could not stand him insulting Shusaku. Hikaru later played Second board against China Wang Shizhen and First board against Korea.
Hikaru has two defining traits when it comes to Go.
One, is his ability to read further and faster than most players. Because he was mentored by Sai, Hikaru can sometimes think like one of the best players in history, often surprising people with a well placed move. This is shown when he supposedly makes a "dumb" play only for it to become a brilliant trap for his opponent against Murakami and Suyong.
Another natural talent he seems to have is his ability to remember the steps of the moves of a game exceptionally well. This was first noticed by Sai which lead him to realize Hikaru's potential in learning and playing Go.
He also seems to have some gut instincts when playing, often being able to play very fast and make solid moves. According to many skilled professional Go players and rivals, Hikaru's talent seems to have no limit.
Hikaru shown himself to be able to make good solid even playing fast where he already think about his next move while his opponent does
He also seems to prefer playing fast paced games over slow ones. As seen as when he met opponents that take a long time playing during his insei times, he complained him being slow in his mind and felt comfortable with Fuku's speed in playing.
Ever since Sai entered his life, Hikaru has developed a passion for Go. The two seem to have a caring relationship though they tend to argue sometime.
When Sai disappeared this sent Hikaru on a quest to find his friend as Hikaru presume that he ran off and tried to find him at Go Association then at Hiroshima where Shusaku was Born but to no avail, he then goes to Go Association and later takes look at Shusaku game record which was Sai's play through Shusaku Hikaru was amazed by Sai's Skills which cause him to regret not let Sai play Go whenever he wants and blame himself for not realize how skill Sai was sooner because when he met Sai he doesn't know much about Go while Shusaku was skilled enough to recognize Sai's strength cause him become extremely depressed and stop playing Go for awhile.
Sai's disappearance almost made Hikaru stop playing Go completely. Hikaru hopes that Sai would come back and that he would let Sai play go whenever he wants but to no avail. However, When Isumi came to Hikaru and make him play against him Hikaru saw Sai hand point out a move that he would play which made Hikaru Realize that Sai now live in his go made him resolve to achieve Sai's goal to attain the Hand of God.
Shindo thinks of Akira as a rival throughout the series, but seem ready to defend each other's abilites to other Go Players. Shindo and Akira have been shown squabbling over Go when playing in a Go salon. They seem to be close friends and rivals.
The two have a close childhood friendship, although Hikaru often yells or hurts her feelings when he is playing Go and messes up.
Hikaru and Waya have a close friendship. This is shown when Waya becomes concerned about Hikaru and vice versa.
The two first met when Yuki was cheating at a Go Salon. After Yuki was dragged (literally) by Hikaru to the Go Club he became apart of it. The two's relationship became strained after Hikaru announced that he would be a pro before they grew close again.
Hikaru played Yashiro for the selection for the Hokuto Cup. Although Yashiro lost to Hikaru, he showed great skills and was challenged by Ochi afterward to prove who deserved the last position for participating the Hokuto Cup. Yashiro won and earn his position for the Hokuto cup along side Akira and Hikaru. Hikaru and Yashiro later stayed over at Akira's to train for the Hokuto Cup.
|Akira Toya||Win by 2 Point Play (Play Through by Sai)|
|Akira Toya||Win by Resigned (Play Through by Sai)|
|Tetsuo Kaga||Lose by One Point (Play Through by Sai) due to mistake|
|Kawahagi Third Member||Lost by Resigning|
|Kaio Third Member||Win (Play Through by Sai)|
|Dake||Win (Play Through by Sai)|
|Middle School Student||Win|
|Unnamed Insei Opponent||Lose|
|Unnamed Insei Opponent||Won|
|Imanishi||Won due to mistake|
- His shoes just happen to be modeled after Takeshi Obata's favorite sneakers.
|Main Character||Hikaru Shindo • Fujiwara no Sai • Akira Toya • Koyo Toya|
|Other Character||Akari Fujisaki • Kimihiro Tsutsui • Tetsuo Kaga • Yuki Mitani • Kumiko Tsuda • Natsume • Masako Kaneko • Hitoshi Koike • Seiji Ogata • Kaoru Kishimoto • Yuri Hideka • Yoshitaka Waya • Yuta Fukui • Shinichiro Isumi • Asumi Nase • Kosuke Ochi • Toshinori Honda • Tatsuhiko Kadowaki • Shigeo Morishita • Kuwabara • Zama • Harumi Ichikawa • Mitsuko Shindo • Michio Shirakawa • Suyong Hong • Atsushi Kurata • Yongha Ko • Kiyoharu Yashiro|
|Student||Hikaru Shindo • Akari Fujisaki • Kimihiro Tsutsui • Tetsuo Kaga • Yuki Mitani • Kumiko Tsuda • Natsume • Masako Kaneko • Hitoshi Koike|
|Current||Asumi Nase • Yuta Fukui • Eiji Komiya • Toshiteru Adachi|
|Former||Hikaru Shindo • Yoshitaka Waya • Shinichiro Isumi • Kosuke Ochi • Toshinori Honda • Ryo Iijima • Kaoru Kishimoto • Suyong Hong• Mitsuru Mashiba • Kiyoharu Yashiro|
|Japan||Hikaru Shindo • Akira Toya • Koyo Toya • Seiji Ogata • Yoshitaka Waya • Shinichiro Isumi • Kosuke Ochi • Toshinori Honda • Tatsuhiko Kadowaki • Shigeo Morishita • Kuwabara • Zama • Michio Shirakawa • Hiroyuki Ashiwara • Atsushi Kurata • Kiyoharu Yashiro|
|Korea||An Daesun • Suyong Hong • Yongha Ko|
|China||Yang Hai • Lu Li • Wang Shizhen • Zhao Shi|