U3ADenia - Mahjong

 

Email mahjong@u3adenia.com 
Group leader:  Margaret Bramall
Meetings:  Friday
Time:  15.00 Every Friday at 3 pm for two hours
Venue:  New Cafe Soles, One street back, parallel to Las M

 

New members are always welcome.

Whether you have played this game in the past and would like to re-awaken your interest, or you have never played but think you would like to learn , come and join us.

About the game

As usual with Chinese games, theory has it that Confucious invented it but the truth is that no evidence of the game exists before about 1880.

In fact, the history of the game is straightforward and can be viewed in two parts: ‘until the early 1920s’ when the game was almost exclusively played by the Chinese, and ‘after the early 1920s’ when the game was discovered and immediately popularised by other nations.

A set of 144 Mah Jong tiles consists of 36 tiles in the Bamboo suit, 36 in the Circle suit, 36 in the Character suit, 16 Wind tiles, 12 Dragon tiles and 8 bonus tiles (4 Flowers and 4 Seasons). The best tiles are made from bamboo and ivory or bone and have beautiful hand-painted pictures representing the face of each tile. Traditionally, the Flowers, Seasons and the One of Bamboos come in for particular artistic creativity.

The aim is to collect sets of tiles according to the number and type shown on the face of each tile. A player takes and discards a tile each turn and the first player whose hand consists entirely of a legal set or sets goes out or goes ‘Mah Jong’. The game is effectively the same as the card game Rummy.

It appears to be a very complicated game, but Mah Jong is really quite simple when reduced to its basics and it is only the accompanying rituals and complex scoring that change this. One of these rituals, the process of shuffling the tiles at the start of the game, is known as ‘The twittering of the sparrows’, presumably because of the accompanying noise. Since Mah Jong means ‘the game of the sparrows’ or ‘sparrow tiles’ in Chinese, it seems likely that this is the source of the game's title.

If you would like to learn this fascinating game, or already know how to play it, come and join us for two hours each Friday afternoon at Cafe Soles. For more information please contact Margaret Bramall mahjong@u3adenia.org