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By Tom Sloper (トム•スローパー)
2010年 3月 14日
Column #443

Japanese Modern (riichi/dora). I finally got my own copy of Jenn Barr's book, Reach Mahjong; The Only Way to Play (Huntington Press).

This is the only book in English that delves exclusively and in depth into the modern Japanese game. Mah Jongg For Beginners, by Kanai and Farrell (Tuttle), the only other English book devoted solely to the Japanese game, is outdated. Japanese rules are touched upon in Jelte Rep's The Great Mahjong Book (Tuttle) aka Het Groot Mahjong Boek (Tirion), David Pritchard's Teach Yourself Mahjong (Teach Yourself Books), and of course Eleanor Noss Whitney's A Mah Jong Handbook (Tuttle). But Barr's new oeuvre is the seminal work on the variant.

I was honored to preview an early draft, but I really wanted a printed copy I could hold in my hands, and it's here at last. I first met Jenn at the 2007 OEMC in Copenhagen, and have mentioned her in columns 330, 367, 371, 376, 378, 394, 422, and 429.

In the package with the book was a mahjong set, the Take Pro Quality Mahjong Set T0102, a prize I'd won in Jenn's 2009 Ron2 tournaments. The set was autographed by Jenn and pro player Takeo Kojima, Mr. Mahjong himself, who I met back in 1999 when I was still producing Shanghai at Activision.

It's like Christmas came back because it forgot something!


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