( Majiang, MßjiÓng, Mah Jong, Mah Jongg, Mahjongg, Majong )
The knowledge of the symbolism
of Mahjong is not essential with the player. It does nothing but add
to the pleasure of the play itself by locating it in its philosophical
and cosmological context1. This page illustrates the
principal symbols by accompanying them by the Chinese characters
adapted according to the people who are interested in the language and
the Chinese culture.
The initiators and first players of Mahjong were well-read men.
Consequently they knew very well Yi Jing (I Ching) the Book of
The square formed by the 144 tiles posed in front of the players
represents the Universe in which the trinity which form the Sky, the
Earth and the Man interact.
The Four Seasons represent the
Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter.4 tiles for each
of the 3 dragons
The Four Directions represent
North, South, East, West.
4 tiles for each of the 4 winds
The Four Flowers are the symbol of the movement of the life. They
represent the Man.
Plum, Orchids, Chrysanthemum, Bamboo.
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Originally played with cards, and then pieces carved from ivory or
bamboo, the Chinese game of Mahjong is well over a thousand years
old. Said to have originated in the court of the Emperor of Wu, for
centuries Mahjong remained a diversion exclusively for the royal
class of China.
For the Chinese, as well as for other Asians, Mahjong is a way of
life. Played at home, in private clubs - even at wedding banquets and
birthdays ? Mahjong is an integral part of their social activity. It
provides not only an occasion to entertain friends, but also to
celebrate or even to cultivate business clients.
Mahjong has been called "the game of a hundred
intelligences". When played by experts it can be fast and subtle
? even difficult to follow.
Book of Mahjong uses clear, accessible language and over 150 full
color illustrations to introduce players to the fascinating play and
captivating traditions of the game. It also includes detailed
explanations of the games Cantonese, Shanghainese and Taiwanese
variations, and a guide to game protocol.
Author Amy Lo bas created a resource that is easy to use and easy to
learn from and that will help both beginners and regular players
improve their play.
THE "BIRD OF 100 INTELLIGENCES" that's what mah-jongg means
in Chinese. And if you want to find out why so many millions of
people have become enchanted by the game for so many thousands of
years, this colourful guide is the next best thing to having the
mythical creature perched on your shoulder telling you its secrets.
It's a quick game to learn fast-paced to play. You get:
- an introduction to the tiles amid sticks, including the Circles (or
dots) Characters (or cracks) Winds and Honours
- all the basic moves explained and shown in detail
- practice games that take you step-by-step though the opening moves;
the middle strategies, combinations, and sequences; and the endgame
- special tips and shortcuts on how to assemble your tiles into
winning complete sets, with moves that would take years to learn by
trial and error
- 24 different variations and versions with colourful names like the
Twins of heaven, the Twins of Hell, the Green Hand, the Nine
Lanterns, the Dragon and three Japanese-style games!
Mah Jong is a game for four players (although two, three or five may
play) played at a table with a set of 144 tiles,
During the game the players hold 13 tiles. They play as individuals,
not as partners. In turn each player draws one file at a time from a
stack - known as the wall - or picks up a discard temporarily holding
14 tiles, then puts out one tile.
The objective of the game is to be the first player to obtain either
a complete set of four defined groups of three of four tiles and one
pair, or certain special hands.
The first player to achieve this structure, which need not bring the
highest score, wins the hand.
Because of the absence of partnerships many find the game more
attractive than some card games. It leads to less controversy. The
tiles are a joy to behold as well as to handle and play becomes more
interesting as the nature of the hand changes with each exchange of
The game still includes many interesting features of the old Chinese
game but has been adapted to meet the demands of other countries. A
core of enthusiastic American players has introduced limit hands with
their own variations.
A problem exists with the interpretation of the rules, which may vary
from one expert to another, for Clubs and groups a definite set of
rules should be established at the start. The advanced player should
refer to the specialized books listed in the Bibliography.
The intention of this book is to describe the play, clarify the
scoring and give some alternative versions for Mah Jong , so that
players may select the game that gives them most pleasure.
by Gamesource, Ltd.
Imaginarium.com Toyologists & Amazon.com
This handsome game set, which comes in a suitcase-like carrier
(complete with keys), is an ideal way to get into the ancient Chinese
game of mah jongg. Played with 152 domino-like tiles (about 1.1 by
0.9 by 0.5 inches in this set), Mahjong proceeds on the throw of two
dice but is no mere game of chance. The tiles consist of three
"suits" (bamboos, characters and circles), two types of
honors (winds and dragons), and "jokers" (flowers and
seasons). The game's objective is to acquire tiles from an initial
wall of face-down tiles and form them into one of several
predetermined hands. Like any great game, there's a lot to learn
before you can really get started, but the reward is years of playing
pleasure that deepens with experience. Full instructions are
included. Expert players don't turn tiles over to look at them--they
just lift them far enough to rub the underside with the pad of their
thumb, identifying the tile by its unique pattern of roughness. Being
fluent in Mandarin is nice too, though it won't help you win.