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Atsushi Kurata (倉田厚 )First mentioned as a prominent 4-dan player, Kurata doesn't make an appearance until later in the story as a 6-dan. Despite being only in his early twenties, Kurata (together with Ogata 9-dan) is widely considered as one of Japan's best professionals and has been the challenger for multiple titles (although he has not win a single one). One of Kurata's most prominent abilities is his keen 6th sense, something he believe that above all else, will present solution to the problem. Although good-natured, Kurata is overbearingly confident and takes a liking to signing autographs, which he often adds would-have titles to his names and is fond of passing around to fans (or who he thinks his fan, like Hikaru—much to the boy's dismay).
One of the rare successful Japanese players in international Go tournaments, Kurata is referred to as "Japan's Ahn Tae-seon," another similarly famous young player in Korea (later selected as team manager for Korea representatives in the Hokuto cup). Ironically, Kurata holds a rivalry with Ahn Tae-seon in person after he lost to the Korean player in the Samsung cup's quarter final (more precisely, when Ahn Tae-seon amiably and rather bluntly asked him if he had been in a slump) and is particularly competitive when the other man is concerned.