Mah Jongg is not just a game. It has become a part of my life that allows me to entertain my Mah Jongg-playing friends, cook great meals to serve to them and test my mental skills during our game play (which, hopefully, is often).
I don’t know about you and your Mah Jongg groups but I know that when the OMs are playing…and chatting…and laughing…(and sometimes drinking a glass or two of wine!)…we often can’t remember where we are with the Charleston. Sound familiar at all? Well, confusion be gone! Marcee Kleinman, a programmer and a serious Mah Jongg player in Los Angeles, has developed an app for all of us in need of a gentle reminder with the Charleston.
Known as The Mah Jongg Groove by MK Mobile, this clever app is meant to be used “when playing American Mah Jongg with REAL tiles with THREE other players in a face to face game. It is a handy little utility that helps you remember which pass he or she is on during the PASSING or CHARLESTON phase of the American Mah Jongg game. After dealing all the tiles, the user starts this application. Then, after each of the passes, the user advances to the next screen and the application displays which pass is next. It also displays helpful reminders about the characteristics of each pass such as when the user can stop the Charleston and when the user can make a “Blind” pass.”
The app can be found on iTunes and while you are at it, go to the Mah Jongg Groove Facebook page and hit “Like” to show how much we appreciate a fellow Mahj player developing great apps for us!
I just spoke with the very delightful Lynn Chorn, the new owner of the fantastic website, www.wherethewindsblow.com. She only has FOUR copies left of this wonderful souvenir book from the Project Mah Jongg exhibit. Lynn told me that she has contacted the publisher, 2wice Arts Foundation, but they have no more copies to sell. So, if you are interested in this special book – and at a very reduced price – contact Lynn right away because these books are going, going…gone soon!
Today’s posting is about a book that is fairly new – it was first published in 2003 but then Tuttle Publishing translated it into English and published the book in 2007 for the American audience. The book is written by Jelte Rep, a Netherlands native who, when not playing Mah Jongg, makes documentary films and writes dramatic television shows. He is a great Mah Jongg enthusiast and his book is very thorough.
No, I didn’t spell our beloved game the wrong way – this is how Viola L. Cecil spelled it in 1938 when she wrote her book, MAAJH – The American Version of an Ancient Chinese Game (the book was revised in 1939). In the foreword to her book, Viola signs her name with the title, “President National Mah Jongg League.” Since the National Mah Jongg League was founded in 1937, it would seem that Viola was one of the founding members and probably the very first president. Continue reading →
Today’s posting is about a book written by the man we all can thank for our fun times at the Mah Jongg table.
In 1912 an American by the name of Joseph P. Babcock was sent to China as a representative of the Standard Oil Company. Babcock and his wife became enamored with the Chinese tile game that was all the rage among the ex-pats living in Shanghai. An entrepreneur by nature, he created a simplified version of the game, called it Mah-Jongg, and brought it to the United States. He then wrote what was at that time the definitive rule book for the game and called it Babcock’s Rules for Mah-Jongg, which quickly became known simply as TheRed Book.
Over the next few weeks I am going to post pictures from some of the rarer and more interesting books on Mah Jongg from my collection. Today’s posting will show you a few pages from a 1923 book entitled, “Mah Jong And How To Play It” by Chiang Lee and published by the London publisher, Thomas De La Rue & Co., Ltd. Incidentally, Thomas De La Rue & Co., Ltd. also created some very fanciful and delightful Mah Jongg card sets.