Although I’ve seen more comfortable seats, here is a picture of an actual Chinese Mah Jongg table and stools sent to us by our dear friend Peggy; the photos were taken during her recent trip to China. This outdoor Mah Jongg table was found in the Grand Mosque in Xian, China. And, while in Shanghai, Peggy was able to watch an actual game in progress.Sounds as if Peggy had a great time on her trip to China – can’t wait to get all the details and hopefully some more photos to share with you.
I was catching up on Pinterest today which led me to Etsy where I found something very interesting – an opportunity to purchase an original Mahjong game by the Deshler Purchasing Agency of Shanghai from around 1923. This is not a tile set but rather, a very early version of Mah Jongg played with cards. All the regular suits, honors, winds, etc., are part of the game but they are made of paper instead of the material we usually see from sets made in China such as bone and bamboo. I found this particularly interesting because it is the Deshler set that is pictured in my new book, Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game (always happy to get in a plug for the book!):
The weather in NYC has been unbelievably hot and steamy. What to do? Perhaps we should take a hint from the other side of the world. Look what is going on in Foshan, China:
Looks like those swimming pool Mah Jongg players in Foshan have started a trend! A scenic spot called Qiu Dao Valley in Foshan has taken it to the next level by holding an entire Mah Jongg tournament in their swimming pool, Chinanews.com reported.
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 The Red Book.