History of Mahjong

An Ancient Game?

There are numerous hypotheses and legends about mahjong’s start — the majority of them are unconfirmed, and a few are very whimsical.

A well-known yet improbable story is that mahjong was made by Confucius, the renowned Chinese logician. The true history of this well-known amusement has to be a gradual evolution rather than a distinct invention.

There is a legend that the renowned savant Confucius developed the game, however that has not been confirmed. One logic behind this myth is that students of history have noticed that the three winged serpent tiles concur precisely with Confucius’ specifying of the three respectable virtues which are sincerity, filial piety, and benevolence.  Confucius had a liking for birds and the phrase Mahjong contains the word ’sparrow’ in it. In the event that the myth is valid, Mahjong would have been invented as old as 500 BC in China.

The modern Mahjong game has had several similar versions in history specifically in China. In the sung dynasty Ya Pei was played which was a similar game to Mahjong and was played with wood and ivory cards. Ma Taie in the era of Ming was an evolution of Ya Pei and consequently more similar to Mahjong today.  


Following quite a while of developing cards and procedures, it is accepted by numerous that the amusement we now know as mahjong was most probably made in the mid-to-late nineteenth century notwithstanding, there is still some dispute and discussion on who’s actually the creator of this game.  

One legend proposes that it was a Chinese aristocrat in Shanghai, and another infers it was Chinese armed force officers amid the Taiping Rebellion. An extremely famous hypothesis is that it was two Chinese siblings (whose personalities are presently obscure) in the city of Ningpo who were at last in charge of making mahjong.

Once the amusement was made, it picked up prevalence rapidly, spreading outside of China’s outskirts. Mahjong was likely first acquainted with Westerners around the turn of the twentieth century when individuals started playing it in British clubs in Shanghai. Around this time, other Asian nations, for example, Japan and Thailand, began taking an interest.


Mahjong in America

Mahjong came to the United States in the 1920s. It was imported by US entrepreneurs. A company called Abercrombie and Fitch in the same time period started selling Mahjong sets. The company ownership sent representatives to villages in China with orders of buying every Mahjong set available. Around 12000 Mahjong sets were sold by the company at that time.

Additionally, in 1920, Joseph Park Babcock distributed his book Rules of Mah-Jongg, otherwise called the ”red book”. This was the most accurate rendition of Mahjong known in America. Babcock had learned Mahjong while living in China. His guidelines rearranged the game to make it less demanding for Americans to take up, and his adaptation was normal through the Mahjong prevailing fashion of the 1920s. Afterward, when the 1920s trend vanished, huge numbers of Babcock’s improvements were surrendered.

The game has been in operations with different names and titles like ‘Pung Chow’ and ‘Game of Intelligence’. The game had a strong spring in American culture with mentions as well themed songs on the game. People would dress up and renovate places with Chinese tradition. Mahjong nights became a popular event.  


Numerous consider the cutting edge American form a Jewish remake, as quite a large number of American Mahjong players are of Jewish drop. The NMJL was established by Jewish players and is viewed as a Jewish association. In 1986, the National MahJongg League directed their first MahJongg Cruise Tournament, in conjunction with MahJongg Madness. In 2010, this expansive scale seagoing occasion facilitated its 25th Silver Anniversary Cruise, with players from everywhere throughout the States and Canada partaking.

In 1999, a moment association was shaped, the American MahJongg Association. The AMJA as of now has competitions the whole way across North America, with their mark occasion being at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey before it went bankrupt and shut on October 10, 2016.

What we do think about Mahjong’s restricted history is that it was famous in enormous urban areas in China. Spots like Shanghai, Tientsin, Canton, Nanking, Peking et cetera. It was here that the diversion flourished, and where it picked up its unbreakable connection with betting. Western ostracize groups in these urban areas would’ve made the diversion spread from China back to America, England, around the British Empire, and to other Western nations. In the interim, Chinese vagrants would’ve spread the amusement assist away from home to places like Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.

Prohibiting Mahjong!

Mahjong spread the world over, carted to far-away shores by vagrants and expats, however by the mid-twentieth century, it was going under assault in the nation of its introduction to the world. In the 70s, the playing of mahjong was restricted by the decision Chinese Communist Party, amid the Cultural Revolution. It was viewed as ’counter-progressive’. It was an old propensity, an inefficient propensity, a lavish propensity, which filled no need other than to wool players of their chance, cash, and efficiency, and was along these lines prohibited in China.

In any case, the playing of mahjong proceeded in Chinese abroad groups, and in America, where it had been presented in the 20s. The restriction on mahjong was lifted in China toward the finish of the 1970s when the Cultural Revolution finished, and the Chinese government sought after an arrangement of transparency, both with the West and with its own particular citizenry, keeping in mind the end goal to better deal with the nation’s issues.

Mahjong around the World!

As the twentieth century advanced, mahjong turned out to be progressively famous, in spite of the occasions in China. Its ubiquity in numerous nations has brought about a few forms of Mahjong today, each with inconspicuous contrasts in the tenets. This is conceivably another motivation behind why the historical backdrop of the amusement has been so hard to follow. Japanese mahjong, Chinese mahjong, and American-style mahjong, while basically a similar game, have distinctive principles which direct them, accomplishing pretty much a similar end-amusement through various means.

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