Archive for the ‘Columns’ Category
Dec 29th, 2006
I would like to use this week to talk about Mahjong Parlors (‘jansou’) in Japan. There are parlors in other countries as well, but it is definitely an entirely different culture in Japan.
Imagine a dark, smoke-filled room holding a few strange perfectly square-shaped tables topped with green. Four people with visible tattoos and greasy hair sit in the middle of the room with cigarettes hanging from their lips, an audience of 7 or 8 scary-looking fellows gathered around and a wad of cash on 2 tables. Sound like a place you wanna visit?
Dec 27th, 2006
Winner of the Japan Professional Mahjong League’s 32nd annual OUI (King’s) Tournament, at 27, youngest A-leaguer, the future of Mahjong, please welcome Japan’s Niigata prefecture native, Kazunori Takizawa! If his name is too hard to remember, just call him ‘Takki~’. (Picture coming soon)
Dec 26th, 2006
Last week, I introduced Value Tiles and Simples, two hands that are mutually exclusive. It is totally impossible to ever have both of those hands in one hand. However, cramming as many of the different kinds of Hand Points as possible into one hand is how one gets more points out of a hand and is thus one of the secrets to winning games of Mahjong. It’s similar to Poker in that respect. For example, a hand with one pair, or even a three of a kind is not that great. A hand with both, however, is a full house, and probably worth a lot. Straights and flushes are pretty good, but a hand that is both a straight AND a flush beats everything, yeah?
Dec 23rd, 2006
A note from Jenn:
Let me introduce Gemma. (more…)
Dec 20th, 2006
Helloooooo everyone. Did you miss me this week? I hope you enjoyed my first corner, however lengthy it may have been. How about In Garthe’s Hands? By the way, currently taking bets on how long Garthe will be able to keep up with a weekly column!
So here is my second corner, only halfway away from a room!
Dec 17th, 2006
Mahjong Mahjong Mahjong. So you think you want to dive into the exciting, seedy, seething, frothing at the mouth world of Mahjong. Well I’ll tell you: watch out. Few escape unscathed. My ex-girlfriend regrets ever explaining the rules to me as the game achieved near girlfriend status for me after about 10 minutes. There is no known cure, besides a new girlfriend, but as afflictions go it’s a pretty good one.
Dec 13th, 2006
Welcome my very first Corner! This Corner is all my own and I’m excited because until now all I had was a wall. Well, now I have a corner, and you know what that means. TWO WALLS!! That’s right. I intend to use the meeting point of these two walls to create a corner that informs you about Reach Mahjong. Garthe and I will be updating (at least) weekly to bring you the best and most interesting things in the Reach Mahjong world. So for my first Corner, I would like to introduce ourselves to you and explain what we are up to. You can bet it is NO GOOD. That’s how we plan to keep you coming back!
My name is Jenn.
His name is Garthe.
We became members of the Japan Professional Mahjong League (JPML) in April of this year. As Pros, We tend to play a lot of Mahjong. We are both currently appearing in a networked real-time Mahjong video game created by Konami and featuring over 40 professional mahjong players from our league called Mahjong Fight Club. You can find it all over Japan and Hong Kong. We also participate in many of JPML’s tournaments throughout the year including the Professional League (just starting out, we are both currently in the D2 League), which has 2 seasons each year. There are many other big tournaments that we will keep you updated on as well. Just wait!!
Now for the indies:
I am Jenn. I am originally from Seattle, Washington USA and moved to Japan when I was 18 for school. Since then I have spent 5 months each studying in Hawaii and Taipei. I can speak Japanese (for the most part) and am working on Chinese. My mahjong history is probably the shortest in our league with only about 2 years of playing experience. I make up for it in perseverance though! Go ahead and try to catch me skip a day of studying tile patterns or actually playing! I became a professional mahjong player so that I could have something to work for and achieve some kind of goal while continuing my love for the game. These past 6 months have been a blast and I can’t wait for what lies ahead!
He is Garthe. He came from Sacremento, California and came to Japan to… Yep, you guessed it, teach English. It was exactly that which got him started in this wonderful game. A student of his recommended it and he started by playing video games. One day he met me (Jenn) and we started playing mahjong together. One day Jenn said she was going to become a professional mahjong player and Garthe got jealous, so he followed her (but very carefully so as to not be mistaken as a stalker) and the rest is history (well, not yet, but maybe someday it will be).
So what are we doing in this place? Ummm…
So our lives as professional mahjong players takes us around Japan and keeps us busy, but sometimes it’s hard to be the ugly ducklings… So, let’s get more non-Japanese-speaking players involved and make THEM the ugly ducklings! Actually, we welcome Japanese speakers as well.
But, we would like to get more people around the world playing Reach Mahjong and hopefully get some worldwide leagues and tournaments going someday, so here we are, ready to converse with other mahjong lovers and future lovers on the World Wide Web.
We are planning to do a lot of traveling in the next couple of years and get more people washing the tiles and interested in the best game in the world!
You can catch Garthe every week with his “In Garthe’s Hands” section where he will introduce you to a new hand every week. Well, that won’t even last a year, so should we can him after that? However nice that would be, I can｡ｦt do this all alone, so after we get through all of the hands, we will rotate through them again and we will of course keep a database online as well so you can check out any hands that you missed anytime.
I will be in charge of looking cute and keeping you updated on Our activities and those new friends that we meet along the way. Please feel free to leave messages on our BBs and talk to other mahjong fans, also make good use of the e-mail link. After all, Mahjong is all about making friends. To post comments to this column, click here.
Copyright 2006 © Jenn&Garthe All Rights Reserved