Mahjong (majiang; also maque [sparrow]) is a popular game normally played by four people using dice and 144 tiles which have numbers and suits—the winds, dragons, Chinese characters, bamboo and circles. At the beginning of the game, the tiles are arranged face down in a square ‘court’ which has four walls, each eighteen tiles long and two tiles high. The walls, which are jokingly called the Great Wall, are built indiscriminately. The player taking the last wall breaks the square by extracting two tiles. From this point the players start making sets and sequences of tiles by taking fresh tiles in turn (thirteen in all) and discarding unwanted tiles into the court. Points are given according to the value of the tiles and of the various sets and sequences. In the past centuries Mahjong was introduced to Japan, America and other countries, where rules are modified. There are many mahjong clubs in and outside of China, e.g. the Beijing Mahjong Club, and one can also play online in different languages. Due to variations in play and scoring from place to place or even from house to house, people who do not often play together may have to agree on the rules beforehand. The Shanghainese, Cantonese and Taiwanese versions are well known.
Many Chinese are mahjong addicts, but many also, especially in the PRC, look down on mahjong as gambling associated with the criminal underworld: Edward Yang’s film Mahjong (1995) is about corrupt expatriates and the low life among Taipei gangs. In fact, mahjong was discouraged after 1949 in the PRC, and even forbidden during the Cultural Revolution (1966–76) because of its association with a decadent life. It was still frowned upon during the 1980s, when people had to play indoors. In Shanghai’s community centres, where neighbours like to play mahjong, one can still see the ‘No gambling’ (buxu dubo) signs displayed. Interestingly, with the popularity of computer games, mahjong has not declined, especially among senior citizens. Probably for the purpose of distinguishing mahjong from gambling, the PRC government recognized it as a competitive athletic sport (tiyu jing ji xiangmu), and in September 1998, the State Sports General Administration (Sports Bureau) announced the ‘Chinese Mahjong Competition Rules (for Trial Implementation)’ (Zhongguo majiang jingsai guize, shixing). National and regional contests have been held according to the official rules. The game is often a social event with wining and dining, and games may last for days. A shunkouliu (doggerel verse) satirises cadres:
Zui, xing fende shi kai qiecuo (majiang) hui,
Zui xiaosade shi zoujin yezhonghui.
The most exciting thing is to hold a discussion [playing mahjong] meeting;
The most natural and unrestrained thing to do is go to a nightclub.
What they do at those places is vividly described in examples (2) and (4) under the entry shunkouliu.
Papineau, E. (2000). ‘Mah-jong, a Game with Attitude: Expression of an Alternative Culture’. Trans. M.Black. China Perspectives 28:29–42.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать курсовую

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mahjong — Un juego de Mahjong en progreso Jugadores 4 Edades > Cualquiera …   Wikipedia Español

  • Mahjong 64 — Desarrolladora(s) Chat Noir Distribuidora(s) Nintendo Plataforma(s) Nintendo 64 Fecha(s) de lanzamiento …   Wikipedia Español

  • mahjong — mahjong, Mah Jongg Mah Jongg . A Chinese game played by 4 people with 144 tiles. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Mahjong 64 — Éditeur Koei Développeur Chat Noir Date de sortie 4 avril 1997 (Japon) Genre Mah jong Plate forme Nintendo 64 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • mahjong — (izg. mȁh džȍng) m DEFINICIJA kineska igra slična dominu, različito označene pločice treba složiti u suvislu cjelinu; danas česta u različitim izvedbama kao kompjuterska igra ETIMOLOGIJA engl. ← kin …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Mahjong — For other uses, see Mahjong (disambiguation). Mahjong A game of mahjong being played in Hangzhou, China Chinese name Traditional Chinese …   Wikipedia

  • Mahjong — Mah jong Pour les articles homonymes, voir Mahjong (homonymie). Le mah jong est un jeu de société d origine chinoise qui se joue à quatre joueurs, avec 144 tuiles spéciales. Le mot vient du chinois 麻將 (májiàng en mandarin) qui signifie moineau.… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mahjong — Spielmaterial für Mah Jongg Mah Jongg, auch Mahjongg oder Mahjong (chin. 麻將, Májiàng, chin. 麻雀, kant. màh jeuk (Cantonese Yale), IPA (kant.) maː21.tsœːk33), dt. etwa: Sperlingsspiel, ist ein altes chinesisches Spiel für vier Personen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mahjong — Introducción El Mah Jong o Mahjong es un juego de origen chino que se exportó a partir de 1920 al resto del mundo, y particularmente a Occidente. Está compuesto de 144 fichas, llamadas tejas : ● 36 tejas del palo del Círculos ● 36 tejas del palo… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • mahjong — /ˈmaˌdʒɒŋ/ (say mah.jong), / ʒɒŋ/ (say zhong) noun 1. a game of Chinese origin, usually for four persons, with 136 (or sometimes 144) domino like pieces or tiles (marked in suits), counters, and dice. –verb (i) 2. to win a game of mahjong. Also,… …  

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”