The suit that we call “Craks” is also known as “Characters.” Tiles in this suit – just like the Bams and the Dots – are numbered from 1 – 9 and are interpreted below from an Oracle’s point of view.
This is the third and final suit of the three suits (Bamboo – or Bams – and Circles – or Dots – being the others) and is usually known to us as the “signs” suit. Its symbol “Wan” literally means “ten thousand” although it can also be taken to mean any large number or unlimited. The significance of “ten thousand” is taken to mean the entire universe, the entire world, or eternity. The Wan suit therefore represents abstract ideals rather than everyday living.
The Chinese have three different characters to represent “ten thousand”. The classical character that is used represents a scorpion, but since this is a complex character to write, a second abbreviated form is also in use. The third character that is used is the swastika, often used in Buddhist religious texts to represent the “ten thousand things” that symbolize the heart of the Buddha (not quite what it came to represent in Germany’s Third Reich!).
Even though I am always head over heels with the carvings and colorful paintings on the vintage Mah Jongg sets, I am so in love with this new set by the design house Maison Martin Margiela.
It would look so nice in my apartment and wouldn’t it be fun to play a game of Mah Jongg with a set like this – big sigh… rumor has it that the set sells for $5000.