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Question on Mahjong


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First off I'd like to apologize just in case this is the wrong forum. But, I was looking through my grandfather's old belongings and found an old Mahjong set along with other pieces I'm not sure about. The 3 token things had an E W and N on them with a different symbol on the back of each. I thought they were North, South, etc but the symbols didn't match the chinese or japanese alphabet. The sticks came in large sets with a 5, 6, 1, and 2 for each set. If anyone can recognize these pieces I would really appreciate it. And again, sorry if this is the wrong forum but it was the best thing i could think of.

Thank You


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Interesting, I have a set like this, have always assumed it was chinese, never even imagined it could be Japanese.


Having checked it is indeed Japanese made by Futami Kogeisha. Is this common? Are most of the sets we use in the west not chinese?


I don't play the rules exactly as described in your link. We use the rules from the "Complete Book of Mah-Jong" by A.D. Millington.

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I don't think the word riichi is the name for mahjong in Japan, it is a Japanese adjective based on the English word 'rich' meaning winning or raking in the cash, as some people play for money. So the title of the webpage should probably be read as "Winning Mahjong," "Championship Mahjong" or the like.


People playing pachinko, a kind of elaborate pinball, will yell "Riichi, riichi" when they get a winning combination on the slot machine style screen that determines their score.


Japanese use the same characters for the name of the game, and read them ma jahn...


I don't play, so I can't say anything about the set, the pieces, or any difference between the Chinese and Japanese versions of the game.


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57 minutes ago, TheBigZaboon said:

"Riichi, riichi" when they get a winning combination


When they are 1 step away from getting a winning combination, actually.  Same as in Japanese mahjong, a player can declare riichi when he/she has a waiting hand (1 tile from a winning hand), as in section 3.3.14 in the linked article.


Also, riichi is based on the Chinese word 立直 (and still written with these kanji sometimes), according to wikipedia (Japanese), although it is not used in Chinese nowadays (except to describe that Japanese concept).

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As far as I know Mahjong has a bunch of regional variants.

The most played outside of Asia seem to be

- Chinese Competition Rules (MCR) - played in French clubs and on mahjongtime.com https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Competition_Mahjong_scoring_rules

- (Japanese) Riichi Mahjong - played in French clubs and on mahjongtime.com  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_Mahjong

- American Mahjong (they have it on mahjongtime.com but I think it requires paying a fee to some American association)  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_mahjong


mahjongtime.com also has other games which they call "Hong Kong mahjong", "Taiwanese Mahjong" (I don't know how authentic the rules are) and "European Mahjong" (I don't know what that is) and others.




An older post here on CF: https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/6768-ma-jong-drills/



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  • 2 weeks later...

The Japanese wikipedia article also mentions "Riichi mahjong" so it's apparently not only foreigners who refer to Japanese Mahjong by this name.





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  • 1 month later...

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