Every year a number of teams with sponsors, mainly mahjong parlors, take to the tables in a women’s-only league known as Yukan Fuji-hai (Evening Fuji Cup).
Each team requires at least two competitors, but most have three. There is one session of games each month and competitor scores count both for team and individual rankings. Last year there were 12 teams competing in Western Japan and 28 teams competing in Eastern Japan for a total of 40 teams.
Which team wins?
In 2019 there were 10 groups of four teams each, who played 7 qualifying rounds. The winning teams from each group, as well as two wild-card teams (highest-scoring second-place teams) moved on to the finals. Those who advanced were divided into three tables and the top four teams after 3 games moved on to the final table, which also consisted of three games. To fill in the last spot at the final table, the second-place teams as well as the highest-scoring third-place team played in a sudden-death consolation match.
Last year’s winning team was Team Fairy, led by Yoko Watanabe (featured image).
Players also have a chance at an individual title based on their scores throughout the qualifying rounds. Look for a future article that explains the individual race.
Now for the big news… 2020 Participating teams:
(32 teams total; *denotes new teams participating for the first time)
1. Shitamachi no Cookie Team (Asami Ishida, Yuri Ichinose, Remi Otsuki)
2. Mondo Mahjong Channel Team (Tomi, Hina Hinata, Sanaka Iinuma)
3. *Ishikawa Anpai Team (Nao Kyomori, Mio Shirota, Hana Satonaka)
4. CABO Ikebukuro Branch Team (Ayano Yoshida, Miko Uchida, Aimi Ueno)
5. CABO Shibuya Branch Team (Maki Asami, Rin Saijo, Yu Kojima)
6. Mahjong CABO Team (Aya Ishii, Satomi Tomimoto, Emiko Inoue)
7. Mahjong BULL Team (Yurika Aoi, Rinka Hayakawa, Mariko Satsuki)
8. BULL Nakano Branch Team (Yukari Nakagawa, Chifumi Yamawaki, Tomomi Okubo)
9. Gotanda next & Kanazawa Gal-nan Team (Rui Anjo, Chisato Akise,Mifumi Mareki)
10. Toyama No-time Team (Kaori Shimizu, Rumi Nikaido, Akira Wakutsu)
11. Club NPM Team (Yuri Aso, Yuri Yuzuka, Natsumi Minase)
12. Koiwa rakuraku Team (Taeko Nakano, Nagi Yonesaki, Mio Sakura)
13. Heartland Sapporo Mini Team (Yu Ashiki, Mika Mizuguchi, Akari Kimura)
14. Heartland Sapporo (Saki Kurosawa, Sakiku Tezuka, Hatsune Osaki)
15. Alban Team (Yukiko Izumi, Kozue Miyauchi, Nao Ogasawara)
16. Mahjong Café Team (Saki Shirogane, Akane Asamiya, Natsuki Tano)
17. Mahjong Sakae Team (Ayano Furukawa, Ayumi Mitsui, Mayu Sugiura)
18. Sakae Matsudo Team (Ayaka Matsuda, Kaede Hiiragi, Chiaki Fuyutsumi)
19. Ron2 Team (Mari Takamiya, Chihiro Sugawara, Rio Tojo)
20. Mahjong Keio Team (Zhengfang Wang, Ami Nishiyama, Shoko Aoki)
21. *Ikebukuro Kingdom Team (Maiko Kawahara, Ami Koshoji, Yumemi Matsui)
22. *ML Stadium Team (Momo Matsushima, Mako Komada, Ayano Minami)
23. Fairy Team (Yoko Watanabe, Emi Sugimura, Yumeka Mamiya)
24. *Janyu Club (Miyako Kiryu, Yui Ueda, Shizuka Kawamata)
25. *One-Chance Team (Mai Nishikawa, Yuno Yagami)
26. * Muto Mahjong (Yasuko Maruyama, Akina Mizuhara, Mia)
27. TF Channel Team (Yoshie Aiuchi, Mika Yuzuki, Miki Tsukada)
28. *ReachMahjong.com Team (Jenn, Gemma, Mio)
29. Octagon Team (Rurika Adachi, Himeko Sakurakawa, Saori Okada)
30. *Musashikoyama Non-smoking Mahjong BAR R (Maika Tanizaki, Michiru Noguchi, Marie Hazuki)
31. Kamekitazawa Team (Mio Koike, Saori Nemoto, Mika Sagara)
32. SSC Team (Chiharu Nishijima, Aki Ohira, Aiko Hinata)
Did you catch that? Yup! In an unprecedented move, ReachMahjong.com is sponsoring a team for the 2020 Yukan Fuji season and all the pro’s on the team happen to be JPML (Japan Professional Mahjong League) professionals and also have citizenship that is not Japanese!
The ReachMahjong.com Team
Surely you know Gemma, originally from England, in charge of everything WRC and the first Brit to ever don the coveted “professional mahjong player” title.
Jenn may also be a familiar name/face, as she joined JPML waaaay back in 2006 (yes, yes, I’m getting old) and is, of course, co-founder of ReachMahjong.com along with Gemma and Garthe (another JPML pro, albeit not a female and thus excluded from this league).
The new face is up and comer Mio. Many of our readers will have met her at the 2017 WRC in Las Vegas, and may have noticed that she is trilingual (including her native Korean, Mandarin, and Japanese). Mio is a pureblood mahjong player who came to Japan for the soul purpose of living in an environment where she could always find a full table to play mahjong. She is currently in JPML’s D1 pro league and the Women’s C league with Jenn (in fact, they were on the same table in May and spent a dinner afterwards getting to know each other).
Another thing all these team members have in common is that they go by their first names only in mahjong pro appearances.
The drawing for groups for the Yukan Fuji league will take place on the morning of June 17th, JST and once it’s all set RM will be quick to get you the breakdown and outlook for the 2020 season!