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.