MAH-JONGG FRIENDS IN JAPAN


When I worked for Activision, I frequently traveled to Japan on Shanghai business. I wanted to add true mah-jongg to the classic Shanghai tile-matching, so I took the opportunity to do some "field research!"

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(Above.) That's me at upper right, playing with Activision Japan's Hiroshi Seno-san and the editors of Login Magazine in Tokyo, October 1997. I had no idea how to play modern Japanese Mah-Jongg then. Long story. (Click here to read it!)


(Above.) Less than 2 years later, I've learned a few things about Japanese Mah-Jongg. This is the new Mah-Jongg parlor of Takeo Kojima-san, the preeminent Mah-Jongg pro of Japan. I was so nervous! No chombo, but jet lag was my convenient excuse for any dumb little mistake.


(Above.) Here I am playing with Junko Takahashi-san, a Mah-Jongg pro and teacher, and the fine folks from Warashi, a company that develops and publishes Mah-Jongg software in Japan. Left to right: Sho Sasaki-san, Noriyuki Takasaki-san, me, and Junko Takahashi-san. June 1999. Takeo Kojima's JANKOU.

I saw Sasaki-san and Takasaki-san again during my participation in the 2002 WCMJ.

And I went back to Jankou with Martin Rep - read about that 2nd visit to Jankou by clicking HERE.

I met with Takahashi-san again in December of 1999. She and pro player Taro Suzuki-san took me to Vega, the mah-jongg parlor of pro player Kazuko Urata. Takahashi-san and Suzuki-san taught me three-player rules, and taught me some other fun games to play with mah-jongg tiles. Urata-san's webmaster interviewed me and took pictures, and put the interview on Vega's website. The interview has since been removed from the Vega site, but now it's here on sloperama.com:

Japanese language version.         English language version.


On that same trip, I visited the Mahjong Museum in Chiba with my business associate and friend Kazuo Nii-san (that's him in the bottom frame). There I met Toshifumi Suzuki-san, Deputy Librarian, Director of Secretariat of the museum (upper frame). I donated a copy of my computer game, Shanghai: Second Dynasty, to the museum. And Suzuki-san gave me a copy of the wonderful MAJAN HAKUBUTSUKAN DAIZUROKU ("Mah-Jongg Museum Big Encyclopedia"), which is described in FAQ 3.    Dec. 1999

Click here to see more (non-mah-jongg) pictures from Japan.