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Notes on Tam Wing Kwong, "The Game of Sparrow as played in..

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Anonymous
October 9, 2004 2:05:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

Notes on Tam Wing Kwong, "The Game of Sparrow as played in China".

[ This note is in the Big5 encoding. For those reading without
Chinese fonts, the hanyu pinyin readings are given in square
brackets. Readings outside square brackets are from the book, using
the author's transcription of Cantonese.
I can also post a GB version if desired. ]

Bibliographic information:
Author: Tam Wing Kwong.
(Unfortunately, there is no evidence to say whether this is Chinese or
English name order, except that possibly the spacing on the cover might
indicate Chinese order. On the basis that Tam Wing-Kwong appears several
times on the Hong Kong Web, and Kwong Tam-Wing does not appear on
the Web, I assume it must be Chinese order - can Cantonese speakers confirm?)
Title: The Game of Sparrow as played in China, with the History of Maa
Jong Appendixed.
Edition: Revised second edition.
Publisher: none given. Sole distributor: Ip Tak & Company.
Year: 1925. (First edition 1922.)
Pages: title-page + 71pp.


The first surprise in this book is on the front cover. The cover shows
a sketch of a tile, on the face of which is written the title and
author, with at the bottom the three old dragon tiles, in the order
green phoenix, white, red dragon. The title is written thus:

THE GAME OF

SPARROW

±N °¨

AS PLAYED IN

CHINA

The Chinese is hand-written; °¨ [ma3] with the traditional character,
and ±N [jiang4] written not with the usual Chinese shape, but with
the shape now standard in Japan, with the "paw" radical in the top
right. (Is/was this shape also common in Hong Kong?)
This is doubly interesting: it is the earliest use I've seen of ±N [jiang4]
`general' rather than ³¶ [que4] `sparrow' as the second word in the
name, and the only use I know of °¨ [ma3] `horse' rather than ³Â [ma2]
`hemp' as the first. More on this at the end when I describe the
Appendix.

After the title and contents, the book starts with Preface to the
second edition. This is dated 1st May 1925. It says that since the 1st
edition was published, the author has found that many foreigners need
more explicit guidance on the ways of going out (i.e. different types
of waiting), so he has added this; and he says "The rules of the game
have also undergone many material changes in the last year or so, and
a number of paragraphs have consequently had to be rewritten to cover
all the new rules to date." Unfortunately, these changes are not
flagged in the text (pity there were no change bars then!); maybe
somebody will find a first edition one day to compare.

At this point, I will note that the English is perfect educated
English in the formal idiom of the time; the author must, not
surprisingly, have been of the social class that would have an English
formal education and move often in the English-speaking
circles. Possibly he was a civil servant, but that would be a mere
guess. The style sometimes has a slightly older and more formal feel
to it than 1920s writing of England, but that could as well be the
author's age or the difference between England and the colonies.

The Introductory page to the first edition is dated 1st December 1922,
and reads thus:

The place of origin of the Game of Sparrow or Maa Jerg or Maa Jong
is Ning-po, where the game made its first appearance some fifty
years ago.
During the later years of the last Dynasty, when China was under
the Manchus, the game was practically confined to the Mandarin
circle, and it was not until the formation of the Chinese Republic
when it became a national game, inasmuch as it is played by people
of all ages, sexes and ranks.
In recent years, it has become popular among the foreign residents
in China and its popularity has even extended to Europe, American
and Australia.
It has been a matter of frequent occurrence that disputes have
arisen between foreign players over the rules of scoring, owing to
the fact that different rules are represented by the English books
on the subject as are written by different authors.
The sole object of this booklet is to represent to the foreign
players the rules of scoring which are invariably accepted and
observed by the players in most of the Chinese clubs in Hongkong,
and the author sincerely believes that his work will fill a long
felt want in the respect that it reduces disputes to a minimum.
While apologizing for having introduced quite a number of new
terms which foreign players may not have been accustomed to, the
author acknowledges his indebtedness to the authors of the published
English and Chinese books on the subject he has consulted during the
compilation of this work.


The book proper starts:

The Game of Sparrow or Maa Jerg ³Â³¶ [ma2que4], or Maa Jong °¨±N
[ma3jiang4], is played ...

In this printed text, ±N [jiang4] appears in the usual shape. Here we
see the usual name of the game, with the front cover version as an
alternative. I don't know the author's Cantonese romanization system,
but I don't know any system in which ±N [jiang4] is written "Jong" -
and given the author's transcription "Jerg" for ³¶ [que4], I would
have expected "Jerng". Can a Cantonese speaker help me here?

The description of the tiles is mostly as usual, with the normal
Chinese names; in the author's transcription the suits become
Maan (character), Sog (string/bamboo) and Toeng (circle), and he uses
these terms throughout, rather than translating. In the description of
bamboos, he says "From the figure of a sparrow, by which the 1 sog was
original [sic] represented, and from which the name "Maa Jerg" (³Â³¶
[ma2que4], meaning sparrow) has been derived, the figure of a stork,
peacock or phoenix, or sometimes even that of a bamboo shoot, is often
substituted."

The dragons he calls Faan Dzee (½¤l [fan1zi]) and translates
"doublers". Notably, he says that the Às [long2] Loeng `dragon' and »ñ
[feng4] Foeng `phoenix' (given of course in the traditional forms) are
the usual markings, but owing to Republican objections to the use of the
Imperial dragon sign, these are sometimes substituted by the ¤¤
[zhong1] Joeng and µo [fa1] Faad characters. Since the last Emperor's
own set used zhong and fa, this argument doesn't sound terribly
convincing!
A question for the Cantonese speakers: Amy Lo's book uses "µf¤l
[fan1zi] Fan Jee" for the Honour tiles (Winds and Dragons), also
presumably meaning doublers. Are both the fan1 characters possible for
faan in Cantonese, as far as you're concerned?

The description of the preliminaries of the game follows some of the
standard variations. At this point, the author emphasizes that the
"cardinals are not properly located inasmuch as North and South are
transposed", but does not offer any explanation.

The terminology used for tile sets is a bit confusing. He says that a
set of three is called a "¨è [ke4] KAAN", but immediately says that
this means a concealed three. I believe this character is hak or haak
in Cantonese (that's what Amy Lo writes as well), so where does "kaan"
come from?

In the rules for Washouts, he says that the deal does not pass for the
case of nine different terminals and honours, but does pass for the
case of reaching the dead wall, unless it is East who drew the last
tile, in which case the deal does not pass.

The rules for Kongs ("§þ [gang4] Gong") are interesting. He says that
when a Kong is declared, a replacement tile is taken from the dead
wall, and columns moved from the live wall to the dead wall so that if
there are n kongs declared, the dead wall has (7+n) columns -- so the
dead wall *grows* as people make kongs! (He is unfortunately not
perfectly clear about the half columns.) Then he says that in the
latest rules (presumably this is a 2nd edition addition) the rule is
simply that each time a kong is declared, one column is moved on to
the dead wall. Finally he remarks that some players still follow the
rule that the dead wall should always be 7 columns or 14 tiles.
I don't remember seeing such a growing dead wall rule elsewhere - does
it occur in other books?

For claiming discards, he has the following terminology: to claim a
pung, one calls "Paag ©ç [pai1]" or "Poeng «÷ [pin1] (meaning strike
or collison)". Strange: is «÷ [pin1] (which is not quite clearly printed,
and could possibly be §Ü [kang4], but I don't think so) a misprint for
the expected ¸I [peng4] (which if I understand the author's
romanization would indeed be "poeng")? He uses "paag" in the rest of
the book for a pung. For making a chow, he uses ¦¬ [shou1]; for the
set itself, he uses only the English term "consecutives".

The author then lists all the ways in which one can be waiting for the
last tile. The list is too long to repeat, and I think the terminology
is normal.

Then we come to the scoring. In this book, the base points are 10.
The scoring table is confusing, because he conflates the 2 or 4 points
for fishing the eyes with the 2 or 4 points for dragons and own/round
wind pairs, and gives the score separately for each of the possible
types of open or closed pairs. But if I follow it correctly, it is the
standard (e.g. Millington) scoring for pairs.
He does not have a "filling the only place" score, but he does give 2
points for completing the last sequence (either in the middle or at
the side) with the final tile. Now this means that any hand will score
at least 10+2 points...but since he does list the no point hand as a
one-double hand, there is an inconsistency. My guess is that he means
to give the 2 points for completing a sequence only when the sequence
is the only possible set to complete - unfortunately the worked
examples do not include this case, so I can't confirm this.
He does have a 2 point self-draw score.

The doubles are a pretty standard set, including things like gathering
plum blossom from the roof, snatching the moon from the bottom of the
sea, and so on. He has "all green". Notably, he does not give any
double for all concealed.
The terminology is sometimes interesting: his English names for the
Little/Big Three Dragons is the Lesser/Greater Tri-Optimus - the
latter presumably being intended to translate directly ¤T¤¸
[san1yuan2], though surely Tri-Optimi would be better!
He has the strict interpretation of Nine Gates, which he calls "Nine
Links of Precious Lamps ¤E³sÄ_¿O [jiu3 lian2 bao3 deng1] Gou Lin Bo
Dung".
He has the usual CC penalties, including letting off cannons.

The rest of the book proper is the usual collection of bits of advice
on strategy and tactics; nothing noteworthy, I think.

Appendix A concerns the flowers.

Tam lists four examples of the inscriptions that appear on flower
tiles, without translations (all in traditional forms, of course):

¬K [chun1] Chuin ®L [xia4] Haa ¬î [qiu1] Tsou ¥V [dong1] Doeng
(spring, summer, autumn, winter)

±ö [mei2] Mooi Äõ [lan2] Laan µâ [ju2] Goeg ¦Ë [zhu2] Joeg
(plum, orchid, chrysanthemum, bamboo)

º® [yu2] Y"u ¼¬ [qiao2] Tsiu ¯Ñ [geng1] Gung Ū [du2] Doeg
(fisherman, woodman, ploughman, scholar)

µ^ [qin2] Kum ´Ñ [qi2] Kei ®Ñ [shu1] Sh"u µe [hua4] Waa
(lute/stringed instrument, chess, book, painting)

Tam's description of the use of flowers mentions only the 4 points per
flower and double for own flower; no bouquets. As usual, he says that
flowers had fallen out of use.


Appendix B is the promised history of maa jong, explaining his strange
version of the name. He says his aim is to dispel the nonsense written
by Americans claiming that Mah-Jong dates from Confucian times; en
route, we get an explanation of his curious name of the game.

At about the fall of the Tang Dynasty, gamblers used to settle up
points won or lost between them by means of maas (°¨ [ma3] meaning
horses) which were of paper or wood made to represent the numbers 1
to 9 and also 10 and multiples thereof, the last of which were
indicated by pictures of horses, lions, elephants and rhinoceroses.

This is new to me, but I don't know the prehistory of Mah-Jong at all
well - is this part of the standard account? Anyway, he says that
these cards combined with dominoes to produce "Maa Due (°¨¦Q
[ma3diao4])". Now I quote again:

In the Ming Dynasty (©ú´Â [ming2chao2]), the game developed to what
was then called Muoh Hwo cards (©Ù©MµP [mo4 huo2/he2 pai2 (*)]) which also
had in the set maans, cashes and sogs. Players later added to the
set 3 kinds of Aces on which were printed flowers called Hwas (ªáµP
[hua1pai2], Flower cards), and others added four more kinds "Teens,
Deis, Yuns and Hwos" called Jongs (±N [jiang4] Generals). At this
stage, the game was given the name of Hwa Jong (flowers and
generals).

[ (*) I'm guessing the pinyin here - I have no idea which readings of
these two characters are the correct ones. Help, anyone? ]
He then asserts that Maa Jong is an amalgamation of Maa Due (ma-diao)
and Hwa Jong.

Finally, he says that the game was confined to the nobility until the
fall of the Ming dynasty, when the Royal family fled to the South, and
the game spread from Ningpo. He says that it remained a Mandarin game
until shortly before the Republic.

He doesn't here say when recognizable Mah-Jong emerged, but in the
introduction he said "about fifty years ago" in Ningpo.



That concludes these notes on the book. If there are points I haven't
mentioned that you are curious about, please ask. If you can help me
with any of the questions, please do! And if I've made any mistakes in
the Chinese, please tell me!
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 4:27:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

Julian, thanks so much for your article. It's really good work.

"Julian Bradfield" <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote...
> Notes on Tam Wing Kwong, "The Game of Sparrow as played in China".
>
> [ This note is in the Big5 encoding. For those reading without
> Chinese fonts, the hanyu pinyin readings are given in square
> brackets. Readings outside square brackets are from the book, using
> the author's transcription of Cantonese.
> I can also post a GB version if desired. ]

The Big5 worked great for me. Thanks for all the, um, "kanji" - excellent
stuff! (^_^)

> The first surprise in this book is on the front cover. The cover shows
>
> ±N °¨
>
> This is doubly interesting: it is the earliest use I've seen of ±N
> [jiang4]
> `general' rather than ³¶ [que4] `sparrow' as the second word in the
> name, and the only use I know of °¨ [ma3] `horse' rather than ³Â [ma2]
> `hemp' as the first.

Yes, most interesting! And I noticed that on the cover it says jiang4ma3,
while inside the book (which you mention later) it says ma3jiang4
(reversed). I guess that's attributable to the fact that Chinese can
sometimes be read right-to-left (especially when the characters can be
imagined to be at the head of a vertical column of characters).

> ...It says that since the 1st
> edition was published, the author has found that many foreigners need
> more explicit guidance on the ways of going out (i.e. different types
> of waiting),

Or perhaps it means more than that (it may also mean some special hands,
like All Green, for instance).

> The place of origin of the Game of Sparrow or Maa Jerg or Maa Jong
> is Ning-po, where the game made its first appearance some fifty
> years ago.

Circa 1872, which bears out Stanwick's work in The Playing Card.

> The sole object of this booklet is to represent to the foreign
> players the rules of scoring which are invariably accepted and
> observed by the players in most of the Chinese clubs in Hongkong,

Aha!

> The book proper starts:
>
> The Game of Sparrow or Maa Jerg ³Â³¶ [ma2que4], or Maa Jong °¨±N
> [ma3jiang4], is played ...

See, reversed from the cover (jiang4ma3).

> In the description of
> bamboos, he says "From the figure of a sparrow, by which the 1 sog was
> original [sic] represented, and from which the name "Maa Jerg" (³Â³¶
> [ma2que4], meaning sparrow) has been derived, the figure of a stork,
> peacock or phoenix, or sometimes even that of a bamboo shoot, is often
> substituted."

I have to think that he's got this one not quite right. The earliest sets
didn't have a sparrow for the One Bam.

> he says that the Às [long2] Loeng `dragon' and »ñ
> [feng4] Foeng `phoenix' (given of course in the traditional forms) are
> the usual markings, but owing to Republican objections to the use of the
> Imperial dragon sign, these are sometimes substituted by the ¤¤
> [zhong1] Joeng and µo [fa1] Faad characters. Since the last Emperor's
> own set used zhong and fa, this argument doesn't sound terribly
> convincing!

Yes. Perhaps he had a theory and had not found any conflicting evidence, so
stated it as fact.

> A question for the Cantonese speakers: Amy Lo's book uses "µf¤l
> [fan1zi] Fan Jee" for the Honour tiles (Winds and Dragons), also
> presumably meaning doublers. Are both the fan1 characters possible for
> faan in Cantonese, as far as you're concerned?

Interesting. Perhaps the reliance on spoken communication about the game
(since the game's creator didn't write a definitive manual) resulted in
conflicting writings.

> The description of the preliminaries of the game follows some of the
> standard variations. At this point, the author emphasizes that the
> "cardinals are not properly located inasmuch as North and South are
> transposed", but does not offer any explanation.

He's talking about the "table as map" problem (a frequently asked question
from new players).

> The rules for Kongs ("§þ [gang4] Gong") are interesting. He says that
> when a Kong is declared, a replacement tile is taken from the dead
> wall, and columns moved from the live wall to the dead wall so that if
> there are n kongs declared, the dead wall has (7+n) columns -- so the
> dead wall *grows* as people make kongs! (He is unfortunately not
> perfectly clear about the half columns.)

He says that flowers aren't used, so he doesn't describe replacements for
flower tiles?

>Then he says that in the
> latest rules (presumably this is a 2nd edition addition) the rule is
> simply that each time a kong is declared, one column is moved on to
> the dead wall. Finally he remarks that some players still follow the
> rule that the dead wall should always be 7 columns or 14 tiles.
> I don't remember seeing such a growing dead wall rule elsewhere - does
> it occur in other books?

This goes a little way to backing up Millington on his "kong box" thing.

> Then we come to the scoring. In this book, the base points are 10.
> The scoring table is confusing, because he conflates the 2 or 4 points
> for fishing the eyes with the 2 or 4 points for dragons and own/round
> wind pairs, and gives the score separately for each of the possible
> types of open or closed pairs. But if I follow it correctly, it is the
> standard (e.g. Millington) scoring for pairs.

So there we have it. It's CC, not HKOS. Too bad for Cofa.

> The doubles are a pretty standard set, including things like gathering
> plum blossom from the roof, snatching the moon from the bottom of the
> sea, and so on. He has "all green".

I think this is one of those later additions he mentioned.

> Appendix A concerns the flowers.
>
> Tam lists four examples of the inscriptions that appear on flower
> tiles, without translations (all in traditional forms, of course):

This is a treasure trove of Chinese characters, suitable for copying and
pasting. Thanks very much for this! (Since we also have zhongwen.com, we
can look up characters there, but it's always great to have a character that
can be simply used in Word documents - and it's always great to have
pronunciations.)

>µ^ [qin2] Kum ´Ñ [qi2] Kei ®Ñ [shu1] Sh"u µe [hua4] Waa
>(lute/stringed instrument, chess, book, painting)

I had a question recently from someone who had a set with these four tiles.
I was able to identify qin, qi, and shu, but his set had a different
"painting" character - one that is apparently no longer in use. You can see
the tile on my BB (http://www.sloperama.com/majexchange/bulletinbd.htm).

> Appendix B is the promised history of maa jong, explaining his strange
> version of the name. He says his aim is to dispel the nonsense written
> by Americans claiming that Mah-Jong dates from Confucian times;

It isn't only Americans who make this claim...

> At about the fall of the Tang Dynasty,

907AD

> gamblers used to settle up
> points won or lost between them by means of maas (°¨ [ma3] meaning
> horses) which were of paper or wood made to represent the numbers 1
> to 9 and also 10 and multiples thereof, the last of which were
> indicated by pictures of horses, lions, elephants and rhinoceroses.
>
> This is new to me, but I don't know the prehistory of Mah-Jong at all
> well - is this part of the standard account?

The "standard accounts" of the games played prior to the 19th century do not
mention monetary denominations used for gambling purposes or chips used for
keeping score. (Those standard accounts are usually quite terse.)

>Anyway, he says that
> these cards combined with dominoes to produce "Maa Due (°¨¦Q
> [ma3diao4])".

I guess he's saying that the concept of that earlier card game was put
together with the concept of dominoes in some way to produce Matiao. Thierry
wrote here on this board a year or two ago that Matiao (a 4-suited game that
was played with 40 cards) came about later than the three-suited money cards
(like 1368-1644 or so).

> In the Ming Dynasty (©ú´Â [ming2chao2]), the game developed to what
> was then called Muoh Hwo cards (©Ù©MµP [mo4 huo2/he2 pai2 (*)]) which
> also
> had in the set maans, cashes and sogs. Players later added to the
> set 3 kinds of Aces on which were printed flowers called Hwas (ªáµP
> [hua1pai2], Flower cards), and others added four more kinds "Teens,
> Deis, Yuns and Hwos" called Jongs (±N [jiang4] Generals). At this
> stage, the game was given the name of Hwa Jong (flowers and
> generals).
>
> [ (*) I'm guessing the pinyin here - I have no idea which readings of
> these two characters are the correct ones. Help, anyone? ]

We've been calling it Mo He Pai. I don't recall the source. Probably MJM.

> He then asserts that Maa Jong is an amalgamation of Maa Due (ma-diao)
> and Hwa Jong.
>
> Finally, he says that the game was confined to the nobility until the
> fall of the Ming dynasty,

1644 AD. So when he says "the game" he must mean Shuh Qian Yeh-Pu (a game
played with 48 cards). I think it does the reader a disservice for someone
like Tam Wing Kwong to use a term like "the game" without being specific.
Since there were numerous precursor games that were played in the period
prior to the 19th century, I wish he hadn't simply said "the game" in
reference to the game(s) played back then - the casual reader might assume
he meant mah-jongg.

> He doesn't here say when recognizable Mah-Jong emerged, but in the
> introduction he said "about fifty years ago" in Ningpo.

Which is bolstered by the sets depicted in Stanwick's articles.

Cheers - Tom
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 11:47:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Julian Bradfield" <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:e6cvfdkncoo.fsf@palau.inf.ed.ac.uk...
> Notes on Tam Wing Kwong, "The Game of Sparrow as played in China".
>
> [ This note is in the Big5 encoding. For those reading without
> Chinese fonts, the hanyu pinyin readings are given in square
> brackets. Readings outside square brackets are from the book, using
> the author's transcription of Cantonese.
> I can also post a GB version if desired. ]
>
> Bibliographic information:
> Author: Tam Wing Kwong.
> (Unfortunately, there is no evidence to say whether this is Chinese or
> English name order, except that possibly the spacing on the cover might
> indicate Chinese order. On the basis that Tam Wing-Kwong appears several
> times on the Hong Kong Web, and Kwong Tam-Wing does not appear on
> the Web, I assume it must be Chinese order - can Cantonese speakers
> confirm?)
> Title: The Game of Sparrow as played in China, with the History of Maa
> Jong Appendixed.
> Edition: Revised second edition.
> Publisher: none given. Sole distributor: Ip Tak & Company.
> Year: 1925. (First edition 1922.)
> Pages: title-page + 71pp.

Hi Julian, thanks for sharing this very detailed piece of information. Here
I'll try to add something to your questions as a Cantonese speaker.

It appears to me that Tam Wing Kwong seems to be the correct name in Chinese
order. If in English order, it would have to be, when converted back to
Chinese order, KWONG, Tam Wing. This doesn't sound to be "smooth".

>
> The first surprise in this book is on the front cover. The cover shows
> a sketch of a tile, on the face of which is written the title and
> author, with at the bottom the three old dragon tiles, in the order
> green phoenix, white, red dragon. The title is written thus:
>
> THE GAME OF
>
> SPARROW
>
> ±N °¨

The Chinese words here is understood (at least for the Chinese readers,
given the time of the publication) to be read from right to left.

>
> AS PLAYED IN
>
> CHINA
>
> The Chinese is hand-written; °¨ [ma3] with the traditional character,
> and ±N [jiang4] written not with the usual Chinese shape, but with
> the shape now standard in Japan, with the "paw" radical in the top
> right. (Is/was this shape also common in Hong Kong?)

Don't quite understand the question - Have to see the image. Do you have the
scan? One thing though, I am quite surprised this term is used. In
particular, the word ±N [jiang4] could be the earliest usage in the game
name mahjong.

> This is doubly interesting: it is the earliest use I've seen of ±N
> [jiang4]
> `general' rather than ³¶ [que4] `sparrow' as the second word in the
> name, and the only use I know of °¨ [ma3] `horse' rather than ³Â [ma2]
> `hemp' as the first. More on this at the end when I describe the
> Appendix.

[...]

>
>
> The book proper starts:
>
> The Game of Sparrow or Maa Jerg ³Â³¶ [ma2que4], or Maa Jong °¨±N
> [ma3jiang4], is played ...
>
> In this printed text, ±N [jiang4] appears in the usual shape. Here we
> see the usual name of the game, with the front cover version as an
> alternative. I don't know the author's Cantonese romanization system,
> but I don't know any system in which ±N [jiang4] is written "Jong" -
> and given the author's transcription "Jerg" for ³¶ [que4], I would
> have expected "Jerng". Can a Cantonese speaker help me here?

The author is obviously Cantonese speaking, therefore "Jerg" for ³¶ [que4]
is correct. "Jerng" (or "Jeung") for ±N is more correct in Cantonese. "Jong"
is an phonetic transcription that does not represent the correct sound of
the word in Cantonese.

[...]

>
> The dragons he calls Faan Dzee (½¤l [fan1zi]) and translates
> "doublers". Notably, he says that the Às [long2] Loeng `dragon' and »ñ
> [feng4] Foeng `phoenix' (given of course in the traditional forms) are
> the usual markings, but owing to Republican objections to the use of the
> Imperial dragon sign, these are sometimes substituted by the ¤¤
> [zhong1] Joeng and µo [fa1] Faad characters. Since the last Emperor's
> own set used zhong and fa, this argument doesn't sound terribly
> convincing!
> A question for the Cantonese speakers: Amy Lo's book uses "µf¤l
> [fan1zi] Fan Jee" for the Honour tiles (Winds and Dragons), also
> presumably meaning doublers. Are both the fan1 characters possible for
> faan in Cantonese, as far as you're concerned?

I guess, the use of ½¤l [fan1zi] could be a mistake. ½¤l ("turn over",
"piece") doesn't seem to have any proper meaning. In the term "µf¤l
[fan1zi]", µf means number, fold (used as noun). "µf¤l [fan1zi]" as used in
mahjong means "score" "pieces".


>
> The terminology used for tile sets is a bit confusing. He says that a
> set of three is called a "¨è [ke4] KAAN", but immediately says that
> this means a concealed three. I believe this character is hak or haak
> in Cantonese (that's what Amy Lo writes as well), so where does "kaan"
> come from?

KAAN (Cantonese) doesn't have a corresponding Chinese word, therefore "¨è
[ke4]" is used for convenience purposes. KAAN means a piece of cut (a kaan
of orange, a kaan of apple, etc.). In fact, the word "¨è [ke4]" also gives
the same meaning.

[...]
>
> For claiming discards, he has the following terminology: to claim a
> pung, one calls "Paag ©ç [pai1]" or "Poeng «÷ [pin1] (meaning strike
> or collison)". Strange: is «÷ [pin1] (which is not quite clearly printed,
> and could possibly be §Ü [kang4], but I don't think so) a misprint for
> the expected ¸I [peng4] (which if I understand the author's
> romanization would indeed be "poeng")? He uses "paag" in the rest of
> the book for a pung. For making a chow, he uses ¦¬ [shou1]; for the
> set itself, he uses only the English term "consecutives".

All are new to me. I have no idea why these Chinese words are used this way.

>
> Appendix B is the promised history of maa jong, explaining his strange
> version of the name. He says his aim is to dispel the nonsense written
> by Americans claiming that Mah-Jong dates from Confucian times; en
> route, we get an explanation of his curious name of the game.
>
> At about the fall of the Tang Dynasty, gamblers used to settle up
> points won or lost between them by means of maas (°¨ [ma3] meaning
> horses) which were of paper or wood made to represent the numbers 1
> to 9 and also 10 and multiples thereof, the last of which were
> indicated by pictures of horses, lions, elephants and rhinoceroses.
>
> This is new to me, but I don't know the prehistory of Mah-Jong at all
> well - is this part of the standard account? Anyway, he says that
> these cards combined with dominoes to produce "Maa Due (°¨¦Q
> [ma3diao4])". Now I quote again:
>
> In the Ming Dynasty (©ú´Â [ming2chao2]), the game developed to what
> was then called Muoh Hwo cards (©Ù©MµP [mo4 huo2/he2 pai2 (*)]) which
> also
> had in the set maans, cashes and sogs. Players later added to the
> set 3 kinds of Aces on which were printed flowers called Hwas (ªáµP
> [hua1pai2], Flower cards), and others added four more kinds "Teens,
> Deis, Yuns and Hwos" called Jongs (±N [jiang4] Generals). At this
> stage, the game was given the name of Hwa Jong (flowers and
> generals).
>
> [ (*) I'm guessing the pinyin here - I have no idea which readings of
> these two characters are the correct ones. Help, anyone? ]
> He then asserts that Maa Jong is an amalgamation of Maa Due (ma-diao)
> and Hwa Jong.

"©Ù[mo4]" has the meaning of "touch" or extending to "draw" as used in
mahjong. "©Ù©M[mo4 he2]" (or [mo hu]) (draw win) has the similar meaning as
"silent win".

Cofa Tsui
www.iMahjong.com
Related resources
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 12:00:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Tom Sloper" <tomster@sloperamaNOSPAM.com> wrote in message
news:IfG9d.206256$MQ5.22706@attbi_s52...
>> Then we come to the scoring. In this book, the base points are 10.
>> The scoring table is confusing, because he conflates the 2 or 4 points
>> for fishing the eyes with the 2 or 4 points for dragons and own/round
>> wind pairs, and gives the score separately for each of the possible
>> types of open or closed pairs. But if I follow it correctly, it is the
>> standard (e.g. Millington) scoring for pairs.
>
> So there we have it. It's CC, not HKOS. Too bad for Cofa.

But the book doesn't describe CC (Millington created this name many years
later), it however did reveal that the games of mahjong did have a much
older (and perhaps complicated) history and many aspects had been developed
before the games (final form) were made known to the foreigners.

Cofa Tsui
www.iMahjong.com
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 5:17:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Tom Sloper" <tomster@sloperamaNOSPAM.com> writes:

> The Big5 worked great for me. Thanks for all the, um, "kanji" - excellent
> stuff! (^_^)

Pity that your newsreader doesn't then tell us that your article is in
Big5 - I had to switch manually to Big5 viewing. Still, what can one
expect from Outlook?

> Yes, most interesting! And I noticed that on the cover it says jiang4ma3,
> while inside the book (which you mention later) it says ma3jiang4
> (reversed). I guess that's attributable to the fact that Chinese can
> sometimes be read right-to-left (especially when the characters can be
> imagined to be at the head of a vertical column of characters).

Yes, of course - I didn't think that needed saying here!

>> "cardinals are not properly located inasmuch as North and South are
>> transposed", but does not offer any explanation.

> He's talking about the "table as map" problem (a frequently asked question
> from new players).

Yes - I meant that he doesn't offer any solution to the question.

>> The rules for Kongs ("§þ [gang4] Gong") are interesting. He says that
>> when a Kong is declared, a replacement tile is taken from the dead
>> wall, and columns moved from the live wall to the dead wall so that if
>> there are n kongs declared, the dead wall has (7+n) columns -- so the
>> dead wall *grows* as people make kongs! (He is unfortunately not
>> perfectly clear about the half columns.)
>
> He says that flowers aren't used, so he doesn't describe replacements for
> flower tiles?

Not in the main text; in the appendix on flowers, he says that flower
replacements are drawn from the dead wall like kong extras.

>>Then he says that in the
>> latest rules (presumably this is a 2nd edition addition) the rule is
>> simply that each time a kong is declared, one column is moved on to
>> the dead wall. Finally he remarks that some players still follow the
>> rule that the dead wall should always be 7 columns or 14 tiles.
>> I don't remember seeing such a growing dead wall rule elsewhere - does
>> it occur in other books?
>
> This goes a little way to backing up Millington on his "kong box" thing.

I don't think so. Rather the opposite. Millington says the dead wall
is 16 tiles, not replenished. The normal practice is 14 tiles,
replenished, which I take to be what Tam means by always being 7
columns or 14 tiles. The rules Tam describes make the dead wall not
just replenished, but even extended in size.

> This is a treasure trove of Chinese characters, suitable for copying and
> pasting. Thanks very much for this! (Since we also have zhongwen.com, we

I rarely look things up there, I have to say. Go off to
http://www.mandarintools.com/cedict.html
and grab a copy of cedict (both the gb and big5 versions are there).
That's good for pinyin lookup. For radical/stroke lookup, I really
think a paper Chinese dictionary is much easier to use than any of the
online sites, though I sometimes have to use unicode.org to look up
obscure characters (when I'm away from my hardcopy of Unicode!).

> can be simply used in Word documents - and it's always great to have
> pronunciations.)

Yes. That's *really* the reason I put the pinyin in brackets - so I
can type the character again! My editor copes well with Chinese, but I
haven't made the effort to become proficient in the shape-based input
methods, so I have to use pinyin - so I have to look up a character in
a (paper) dictionary before I can type it in, unless it's one of the
few that I actually know.

>>µ^ [qin2] Kum ´Ñ [qi2] Kei ®Ñ [shu1] Sh"u µe [hua4] Waa
>>(lute/stringed instrument, chess, book, painting)
>
> I had a question recently from someone who had a set with these four tiles.
> I was able to identify qin, qi, and shu, but his set had a different
> "painting" character - one that is apparently no longer in use. You can see
> the tile on my BB (http://www.sloperama.com/majexchange/bulletinbd.htm).

Oh, right. That character is a variant simplified form of hua4. The
now standard simplified form (which I can't put here, since it doesn't
exist in Big5) is a crossed box ¥Ð sitting in a |_| shape with a long
bar ¤@ above. Some fonts extend the centre vertical up to touch the
top bar, but the variant form on that tile has extended the centre
vertical to touch the top and bottom bars (as it were, extending ¥Ð to
¥Ó), and accordingly shortened the top bar to make it be a top stroke
to a ¥Ó rather than a standalone ¤@ stroke. The variant is either
sufficiently obscure or sufficiently undistinctive that it hasn't made
it into Unicode. This is the kind of thing that makes looking up
Chinese so hard for us poor foreigners!
I've seen many sets on Ebay with that character, though, so it must
have been fairly standard at the time.
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 9:35:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Julian Bradfield" <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote...

> Pity that your newsreader doesn't then tell us that your article is in
> Big5 - I had to switch manually to Big5 viewing. Still, what can one
> expect from Outlook?

I use Outlook Express, which has been set to Japanese as a default. I was
able to view your characters just fine, but when I looked at my own post, I
saw everything as katakana. I won't be resetting its default unless sometime
I need to post Big5.

>> He's talking about the "table as map" problem (a frequently asked
>> question
>> from new players).
>
> Yes - I meant that he doesn't offer any solution to the question.

Well, I am fairly certain that the answer is what was discussed here on the
ng some years back:

"In China the East wind blows in spring, South in summer, West in autumn and
North in Winter. So the natural order of winds is ESWN. Mahjong players are
named after the winds, in order of play, East South West North, in the
natural order." "In China it was common that games were played
counterclockwise. In the West [it was common that games were played]
clockwise. ... By coincidence East and West made a different arbitrary
choice."

The choice of counterclockwise gameplay (established long ago), coupled with
the wind order ESWN, is the cause for the apparent "reversal" of the wind
directions. I don't suppose the Chinese game designers intended that the
table be seen as from above, the way we view a compass or map (that may be
just the way we Westerners tend to view things).

> I rarely look things up [at zhongwen], I have to say. Go off to
> http://www.mandarintools.com/cedict.html
> and grab a copy of cedict (both the gb and big5 versions are there).

Great, thanks.

>> can be simply used in Word documents - and it's always great to have
>> pronunciations.)
>
> Yes. That's *really* the reason I put the pinyin in brackets - so I
> can type the character again!

I hear that! (^_^)

> I have to look up a character in
> a (paper) dictionary before I can type it in, unless it's one of the
> few that I actually know.

Until I discovered the Windows XP Language Bar feature, I used to use
KanjiKit on my Windows 98 computer for all my Japanese writing needs. I love
XP...

> Oh, right. That character is a variant simplified form of hua4. The
> now standard simplified form (which I can't put here, since it doesn't
> exist in Big5) is a crossed box ¥Ð

....Rice field...

> sitting in a |_| shape with a long
> bar ¤@ above. Some fonts extend the centre vertical up to touch the
> top bar, but the variant form on that tile has extended the centre
> vertical to touch the top and bottom bars (as it were, extending ¥Ð to
> ¥Ó), and accordingly shortened the top bar to make it be a top stroke
> to a ¥Ó rather than a standalone ¤@ stroke. The variant is either
> sufficiently obscure or sufficiently undistinctive that it hasn't made
> it into Unicode. This is the kind of thing that makes looking up
> Chinese so hard for us poor foreigners!

(Sigh.) Yes.

> I've seen many sets on Ebay with that character, though, so it must
> have been fairly standard at the time.

Must have.

Cheers,
Tom
Anonymous
October 10, 2004 1:34:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Cofa Tsui" <IMJ@cofatsuiTAKETHISOFF.com> writes:

>> The Chinese is hand-written; °¨ [ma3] with the traditional character,
>> and ±N [jiang4] written not with the usual Chinese shape, but with
>> the shape now standard in Japan, with the "paw" radical in the top
>> right. (Is/was this shape also common in Hong Kong?)
>
> Don't quite understand the question - Have to see the image. Do you have the
> scan?

No. Let me explain more clearly. In a normal traditional Chinese
typeface, ±N has as its top right component the shape ¤i. However, in
Japanese, the same character has as its top right component the
reduced form of ¤ö, as seen in the top half of §´. This is the shape
used on the cover of the book. (Also, the left component is written in
the simplified three-stroke form rather than the full four-stroke
form, but this I guess is common in handwriting.)

>> A question for the Cantonese speakers: Amy Lo's book uses "µf¤l
>> [fan1zi] Fan Jee" for the Honour tiles (Winds and Dragons), also
>> presumably meaning doublers. Are both the fan1 characters possible for
>> faan in Cantonese, as far as you're concerned?
>
> I guess, the use of ½¤l [fan1zi] could be a mistake. ½¤l ("turn over",
> "piece") doesn't seem to have any proper meaning. In the term "µf¤l
> [fan1zi]", µf means number, fold (used as noun). "µf¤l [fan1zi]" as used in
> mahjong means "score" "pieces".

On the other hand, one of the meanings of ½, in Mandarin at any rate,
is "double, increase twofold". So from that it seems reasonable. Any
Mandarin speakers out there?

> KAAN (Cantonese) doesn't have a corresponding Chinese word, therefore "¨è
> [ke4]" is used for convenience purposes. KAAN means a piece of cut (a kaan
> of orange, a kaan of apple, etc.). In fact, the word "¨è [ke4]" also gives
> the same meaning.

Ah. Thanks!

> "©Ù[mo4]" has the meaning of "touch" or extending to "draw" as used in
> mahjong. "©Ù©M[mo4 he2]" (or [mo hu]) (draw win) has the similar meaning as
> "silent win".

Thanks again!
Anonymous
October 10, 2004 1:37:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Tom Sloper" <tomster@sloperamaNOSPAM.com> writes:

>> Pity that your newsreader doesn't then tell us that your article is in
>> Big5 - I had to switch manually to Big5 viewing. Still, what can one
>> expect from Outlook?

> I use Outlook Express, which has been set to Japanese as a default. I was

Yes, well, it doesn't tell us your posts are in Japanese, either!
(A newsreader should add a header to the article saying what encoding
it is in. For example, it you look at the headers of my Tam post,
you'll see
Content-type: text/plain; charset=Big5
However, OE seems not to do this.)
Anonymous
October 10, 2004 2:20:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Julian Bradfield" <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:e6c7jpzwrzw.fsf@feijoa.lan...
> "Cofa Tsui" <IMJ@cofatsuiTAKETHISOFF.com> writes:
>
>>> The Chinese is hand-written; °¨ [ma3] with the traditional character,
>>> and ±N [jiang4] written not with the usual Chinese shape, but with
>>> the shape now standard in Japan, with the "paw" radical in the top
>>> right. (Is/was this shape also common in Hong Kong?)
>>
>> Don't quite understand the question - Have to see the image. Do you have
>> the
>> scan?
>
> No. Let me explain more clearly. In a normal traditional Chinese
> typeface, ±N has as its top right component the shape ¤i. However, in
> Japanese, the same character has as its top right component the
> reduced form of ¤ö, as seen in the top half of §´. This is the shape
> used on the cover of the book. (Also, the left component is written in
> the simplified three-stroke form rather than the full four-stroke
> form, but this I guess is common in handwriting.)

I got it now! It's what is called "abnormal form". This form of writing is
either standardized or eliminated in today's Chinese (especially with the
simplified Chinese system). And the answer is: No, this form of writing the
word ±N [jiang4] is not common in Hong Kong nowadays (and not common in the
Chinese system either). (It could be normal at that time as "abnormal forms"
of writing were common in the old days.)

>
>>> A question for the Cantonese speakers: Amy Lo's book uses "µf¤l
>>> [fan1zi] Fan Jee" for the Honour tiles (Winds and Dragons), also
>>> presumably meaning doublers. Are both the fan1 characters possible for
>>> faan in Cantonese, as far as you're concerned?
>>
>> I guess, the use of ½¤l [fan1zi] could be a mistake. ½¤l ("turn over",
>> "piece") doesn't seem to have any proper meaning. In the term "µf¤l
>> [fan1zi]", µf means number, fold (used as noun). "µf¤l [fan1zi]" as used
>> in
>> mahjong means "score" "pieces".
>
> On the other hand, one of the meanings of ½, in Mandarin at any rate,
> is "double, increase twofold". So from that it seems reasonable. Any
> Mandarin speakers out there?

When in writing, a Chinese word would normally give the same meanings, no
matter it is spoken in Mandarin, Cantonese or other dialet. ½ [fan1] is
used as verb so the term ½¤l [fan1zi] is kind of farfetched, although
understandable. (I speak Mandarin/Putonghua too ^_^)

Cofa Tsui
www.iMahjong.com
Anonymous
October 10, 2004 2:25:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Julian Bradfield" <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:e6c3c0nwrtr.fsf@feijoa.lan...
> "Tom Sloper" <tomster@sloperamaNOSPAM.com> writes:
>
>>> Pity that your newsreader doesn't then tell us that your article is in
>>> Big5 - I had to switch manually to Big5 viewing. Still, what can one
>>> expect from Outlook?
>
>> I use Outlook Express, which has been set to Japanese as a default. I was
>
> Yes, well, it doesn't tell us your posts are in Japanese, either!
> (A newsreader should add a header to the article saying what encoding
> it is in. For example, it you look at the headers of my Tam post,
> you'll see
> Content-type: text/plain; charset=Big5
> However, OE seems not to do this.)
>

I also use Outlook Express. When editing, from the menu bar select Format >
Encoding > select the charset. This shall preserve the characters.

Cofa Tsui
www.iMahjong.com
Anonymous
October 10, 2004 5:29:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Julian Bradfield" <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote:
>
> No. Let me explain more clearly. In a normal traditional Chinese
> typeface, ±N has as its top right component the shape ¤i. However, in
> Japanese, the same character has as its top right component the
> reduced form of ¤ö, as seen in the top half of §´. This is the shape
> used on the cover of the book.

You mean like http://www.sloperama.com/mjfaq/char/sparrow2.gif? Is that the
character on the book cover?

> (Also, the left component is written in
> the simplified three-stroke form rather than the full four-stroke
> form, but this I guess is common in handwriting.)

Um... [shrug]

Cheers,
Tom
Anonymous
October 10, 2004 5:29:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Julian Bradfield" <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote:
> Yes, well, it doesn't tell us your posts are in Japanese, either!
> (A newsreader should add a header to the article saying what encoding
> it is in. For example, it you look at the headers of my Tam post,
> you'll see
> Content-type: text/plain; charset=Big5
> However, OE seems not to do this.)

Right. Cofa's post didn't show up as Big5 over here - I had to manually
switch to view Big5 so I could see the characters properly.
Cheers,
Tom
Anonymous
October 10, 2004 7:47:01 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

Julian Bradfield <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote in message news:<e6cvfdkncoo.fsf@palau.inf.ed.ac.uk>...
> Notes on Tam Wing Kwong, "The Game of Sparrow as played in China".

Thank you very much, Julian, for making this extremely interesting
manual available to us!

Of course it would be a dream to have the first 1922 edition but this
one is really great.

About the title and the name(s) of the game.
It is surprising to see it spelled, in Chinese, ma3 ['horse'] + jiang4
['general']
Here it is the first sinogram which is strange, not the second one.
Unfortunately we are not sure if this spelling was in the 1922
edition: the Introduction you quote just says "the Game of Sparrow or
Maa Jerg or Maa Jong"...

As for the second sinogram -- jiang4 ['general'], the 2nd part of the
modern name of the game -- it seems this name was in competition with
'ma qiao' / 'ma que' since the early years of the 20th century.

Some Western authors of the 1920's did write 'matchang' or 'machiang'
which certainly mirrored some Chinese variant pronunciation.
For example, one K.T. Liou, a French-speaking Chinese, published an
article about Mahjong in "La Chine" (Peking), 1921, calling the game
'matchang' (= /matshang/) The very title reads: "Le jeu de matchang :
son origine, ses regles, ses combinaisons" (The game of 'matchang':
its origin, its rules, its combinations). In this, K.T. Liou explains
that 'matchang' means "pierrot" (a kind of sparrow), "according to the
only available translation here [in Peking]."

Another good witness is J. B. Powell, whose article in 'The China
Weekly Review' of 1923 (http://www.mahjongmuseum.com/lage0923.htm) is
entitled "Mah chang : the game and its history".

Ma chiang was certainly already popular by 1924 as is evidenced by:
- G. Boulon, Standard rules and instructions for the Chinese game of
ma chiang (sparrow), New York, 1924
- International Ma Chiang Players' Association, The laws of ma chiang
as adopted by the International Ma Chiang Players' Association, New
York, 1924
- E.S. Warren, The game of ma chiang, New York, 1924
etc.

So this is a good indication that, besides 'ma qiao' / 'maque', there
was in another Chinese name which sounded like /ma-tsh(i)ang/.

In 1919 the Japanese writer Kobai Inoue wrote the name of the game
using the 2 sinograms that romanise as 'ma qiao', but he
transliterated them in Japanese katakana as "MO CHAN". In a further
book related to Mahjong (published in 1924) he uses two alternative
katakana spellings: "MO JIYA, MO CHIYA" on one hand (= '''ma qiao' as
pronounced in Shanghai)and "MA CHIYAN" (= Chinese ''ma jiang'!) on the
other. (Information kindly sent by TakashiEbashi)

A still earlier occurrence of 'ma jiang' may be found in an English
trademark that was registered in the UK by Robert D. Mansfield in 1912
with this comment: "The word is Chinese and means 'Sparrow'."
Mansfield, who was working in China, knew what it was about... (Found
in "Foster on Mah Jong" and researched by Michael Stanwick and
myself.)

>The book proper starts:
>The Game of Sparrow or Maa Jerg ?? [ma2que4], or Maa Jong ??
[ma3jiang4], is played ...
(...)
> I don't know the author's Cantonese romanization system,
>but I don't know any system in which ? [jiang4] is written
>"Jong" - and given the author's transcription "Jerg" for ?
>[que4], I would have expected "Jerng". Can a Cantonese
>speaker help me here?

Cofa Tsui made this comment:
>>The author is obviously Cantonese speaking, therefore "Jerg"
>>for ? [que4] is correct. "Jerng" (or "Jeung") for ? is more correct
>>in Cantonese. "Jong" is an phonetic transcription that does
>>not represent the correct sound of the word in Cantonese.

In the jyutping spelling system Maa Jerg would now romanise as "maa4
zoek3".
Normally Mandarin "ma3jiang4" would romanise as "maa5 zoeng1". But
"Jong" is strange indeed. Perhaps it was influenced by Babcock's
"Mah-Jongg" or it is a pronounciation in another Chinese language like
Hakka or Hokkien...

>Appendix B is the promised history of "maa jong", explaining
>his strange version of the name. He says his aim is to dispel
>the nonsense written by Americans claiming that Mah-Jong
>dates from Confucian times; en route, we get an explanation
>of his curious name of the game.
>
>At about the fall of the Tang Dynasty, gamblers used to settle
>up points won or lost between them by means of maas (?
>[ma3] meaning horses) which were of paper or wood made
>to represent the numbers 1 to 9 and also 10 and multiples
>thereof, the last of which were indicated by pictures of
>horses, lions, elephants and rhinoceroses.

This seems highly imaginative!

>This is new to me, but I don't know the prehistory of Mah-Jong
>at all well - is this part of the standard account? Anyway, he says
> that these cards combined with dominoes to produce "Maa Due
>([ma3diao4])".
>Now I quote again:
>
>In the Ming Dynasty, the game developed to what was then
>called Muoh Hwo cards [mo4 huo2/he2 pai2 (*)] which also
>had in the set maans, cashes and sogs.

We have met these 'mo he (hu) pai' already many times. Thanks to Cofa
and to further research we know a card game called "Mo Hu" ('he',
actually pronounced 'hu') using 60 cards with combinations was played
in early Qing times (17th-18th C.) and was later succeeded by "Peng
Hu" with 120 or even 150 cards.

>Players later added to the set 3 kinds of Aces on which
>were printed flowers called Hwas ([hua1pai2], Flower cards),

This is absolutely new to me! It is the most intriguing part of this
historical account.
Julian, are the sinograms hua1pai2 printed in the text?
In Himly's minute description of his own set (dated around 1870),
'hua' tiles are mentioned (with a special character), one in each
suit.

>and others added four more kinds "Teens, Deis, Yuns
>and Hwos" called Jongs ([jiang4] Generals).

I am trying to work out what these names mean. "Hwo" apparently is for
Mandarin he2/hu. But what can be "Teens, Deis, Yuns"??
Cofa would you have idea?

>At this stage, the game was given the name of Hwa Jong
>(flowers and generals).

Never heard of that. None of my sources, like Xu Ke (1917), mentions
these "generals".

>He then asserts that Maa Jong is an amalgamation of Maa Due (ma-diao)
>and Hwa Jong.

This reminds of "hua he" (Flower Harmony") dominoes.
Very exciting.

Cheers,
Thierry
Anonymous
October 10, 2004 1:02:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

In article <ng0ad.213009$MQ5.177129@attbi_s52>,
Tom Sloper <tomster@sloperamaNOSPAM.com> wrote:
>"Julian Bradfield" <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote:
>>
>> No. Let me explain more clearly. In a normal traditional Chinese
>> typeface, ±N has as its top right component the shape ¤i. However, in
>> Japanese, the same character has as its top right component the
>> reduced form of ¤ö, as seen in the top half of §´. This is the shape
>> used on the cover of the book.
>
>You mean like http://www.sloperama.com/mjfaq/char/sparrow2.gif? Is that the
>character on the book cover?

Yes, that's it.
Anonymous
October 10, 2004 5:03:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

thierry.depaulis@freesbee.fr (Thierry Depaulis) writes:

> We have met these 'mo he (hu) pai' already many times. Thanks to Cofa
> and to further research we know a card game called "Mo Hu" ('he',
> actually pronounced 'hu') using 60 cards with combinations was played

I meant to ask before, could you explain this "he pronounced hu"
thing? Are you saying that the character whose pinyin representation
is "he" is actually pronounced as if its pinyin representation were
"hu"? This seems rather unlikely, since pinyin is explicitly a
representation of speech!

>>Players later added to the set 3 kinds of Aces on which
>>were printed flowers called Hwas ([hua1pai2], Flower cards),
>
> This is absolutely new to me! It is the most intriguing part of this
> historical account.
> Julian, are the sinograms hua1pai2 printed in the text?

Of course. As I said, I was quoting.

>>and others added four more kinds "Teens, Deis, Yuns
>>and Hwos" called Jongs ([jiang4] Generals).
>
> I am trying to work out what these names mean. "Hwo" apparently is for
> Mandarin he2/hu. But what can be "Teens, Deis, Yuns"??

Yes, it's very irritating that just for once he doesn't write the
Chinese there. However, Teen and Dei are Heaven and Earth; one would
expect Man and Woman, perhaps. He calls the four types of scoring
counter Teen, Dei, Yun, Ngo, so that's consistent with Yun being Man.
But Hwo?
Anonymous
October 10, 2004 5:03:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

Julian Bradfield <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote in message news:<e6c4ql2bx0d.fsf@feijoa.lan>...
> thierry.depaulis@freesbee.fr (Thierry Depaulis) writes:

> I meant to ask before, could you explain this "he pronounced hu"
> thing? Are you saying that the character whose pinyin representation
> is "he" is actually pronounced as if its pinyin representation were
> "hu"? This seems rather unlikely, since pinyin is explicitly a
> representation of speech!

Don't believe it. The pinyin romanisation is meant to represent a
standardised pronounciation based *on the Peking parlance*. But there
are local variations (I mean in Mandarin Chinese), such as this one.
Large dictionaries say that 'he' (match, combine) is read as 'hu' in
Suzhou.

> >>and others added four more kinds "Teens, Deis, Yuns
> >>and Hwos" called Jongs ([jiang4] Generals).
> >
> > I am trying to work out what these names mean. "Hwo" apparently is for
> > Mandarin he2/hu. But what can be "Teens, Deis, Yuns"??
>
> Yes, it's very irritating that just for once he doesn't write the
> Chinese there. However, Teen and Dei are Heaven and Earth; one would
> expect Man and Woman, perhaps. He calls the four types of scoring
> counter Teen, Dei, Yun, Ngo, so that's consistent with Yun being Man.
> But Hwo?

Hwo, as we already know, is jyutping wo4/wo6, i.e. Mandarin he2
(harmony).
Teen is tin, jyutping tin1 = Mandarin tian1 (heaven).
Dei is the same in the jyutping romanisation (dei6) and means "earth"
(Mandarin di4) as you suggest.
The last one, Yun, must be Mandarin ren2 (man), which is jan4
(pronounced /yan/) in the jyutping Cantonese system.
So we have here tian (heaven), di (earth), ren (man), he (harmony), a
quartet that is well represented in the ealiest mahjong sets as
published by Michael Stanwick. Michael are you with us?

All early mahjong sets dating back to the 1870's have a series of
extra tiles that are called 'wang' (kings, princes, or rulers). There
are four "kings" for the four cardinal directions and four "kings" for
the four principles: tian (heaven), di (earth), ren (man), he
(harmony).
This quartet seems to be derived from dice and dominoes.

Cheers,
Thierry
Anonymous
October 10, 2004 5:03:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

Julian Bradfield <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote in message news:<e6c4ql2bx0d.fsf@feijoa.lan>...
> thierry.depaulis@freesbee.fr (Thierry Depaulis) writes:
>
> > We have met these 'mo he (hu) pai' already many times. Thanks to Cofa
> > and to further research we know a card game called "Mo Hu" ('he',
> > actually pronounced 'hu') using 60 cards with combinations was played
>
> I meant to ask before, could you explain this "he pronounced hu"
> thing? Are you saying that the character whose pinyin representation
> is "he" is actually pronounced as if its pinyin representation were
> "hu"? This seems rather unlikely, since pinyin is explicitly a
> representation of speech!
>
> >>Players later added to the set 3 kinds of Aces on which
> >>were printed flowers called Hwas ([hua1pai2], Flower cards),
> >
> > This is absolutely new to me! It is the most intriguing part of this
> > historical account.
> > Julian, are the sinograms hua1pai2 printed in the text?
>
> Of course. As I said, I was quoting.
>
> >>and others added four more kinds "Teens, Deis, Yuns
> >>and Hwos" called Jongs ([jiang4] Generals).
> >
> > I am trying to work out what these names mean. "Hwo" apparently is for
> > Mandarin he2/hu. But what can be "Teens, Deis, Yuns"??
>
> Yes, it's very irritating that just for once he doesn't write the
> Chinese there. However, Teen and Dei are Heaven and Earth; one would
> expect Man and Woman, perhaps. He calls the four types of scoring
> counter Teen, Dei, Yun, Ngo, so that's consistent with Yun being Man.
> But Hwo?

Hello Julian.
I have literally glanced at this interesting post as I am engaged in
other matters. But maybe he means 'harmony'. Thus, Heaven, Earth, Man
and Harmony. This is referenced in Culin. I shall try and find the
reference.

Cheers
Michael Stanwick
Anonymous
October 10, 2004 6:03:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

Julian Bradfield <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote in message
> >>and others added four more kinds "Teens, Deis, Yuns
> >>and Hwos" called Jongs ([jiang4] Generals).
> >
> > I am trying to work out what these names mean. "Hwo" apparently is for
> > Mandarin he2/hu. But what can be "Teens, Deis, Yuns"??
>
> Yes, it's very irritating that just for once he doesn't write the
> Chinese there. However, Teen and Dei are Heaven and Earth; one would
> expect Man and Woman, perhaps. He calls the four types of scoring
> counter Teen, Dei, Yun, Ngo, so that's consistent with Yun being Man.
> But Hwo?

'Hwo' may be, in Pinyin, 'Hé' meaning, as I said previously,
'Harmony'.

For the Culin references, see;

http://www.gamesmuseum.uwaterloo.ca//Archive/Culin/Dice...

and

http://www.gamesmuseum.uwaterloo.ca//Archive/Culin/Dice...

These four also appear as four 'Ruler's' in both the Glover and Himly
sets of circa 1875.

Regards
Michael Stanwick
Anonymous
October 10, 2004 10:50:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

In article <5878e597.0410101001.1b18646a@posting.google.com>,
Thierry Depaulis <thierry.depaulis@freesbee.fr> wrote:
>Julian Bradfield <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote in message
>news:<e6c4ql2bx0d.fsf@feijoa.lan>...
>> thierry.depaulis@freesbee.fr (Thierry Depaulis) writes:

>Don't believe it. The pinyin romanisation is meant to represent a
>standardised pronounciation based *on the Peking parlance*. But there
>are local variations (I mean in Mandarin Chinese), such as this one.
>Large dictionaries say that 'he' (match, combine) is read as 'hu' in
>Suzhou.

In the language of Suzhou (a Wu dialect), or in Mandarin as spoken in Suzhou?

Incidentally, do you know of a multidialectal dictionary - or even an in-print
edition of Giles?
Anonymous
October 11, 2004 3:26:04 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Julian Bradfield" <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:ckc09c$otg$1@scotsman.ed.ac.uk...
> In article <5878e597.0410101001.1b18646a@posting.google.com>,
> Thierry Depaulis <thierry.depaulis@freesbee.fr> wrote:
>>Julian Bradfield <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote in message
>>news:<e6c4ql2bx0d.fsf@feijoa.lan>...
>>> thierry.depaulis@freesbee.fr (Thierry Depaulis) writes:

"Julian Bradfield" <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote:
>> I meant to ask before, could you explain this "he pronounced hu"
>> thing? Are you saying that the character whose pinyin representation
>> is "he" is actually pronounced as if its pinyin representation were
>> "hu"? This seems rather unlikely, since pinyin is explicitly a
>> representation of speech!

and Thierry Depaulis <thierry.depaulis@freesbee.fr> replied:
>>Don't believe it. The pinyin romanisation is meant to represent a
>>standardised pronounciation based *on the Peking parlance*. But there
>>are local variations (I mean in Mandarin Chinese), such as this one.
>>Large dictionaries say that 'he' (match, combine) is read as 'hu' in
>>Suzhou.
>
> In the language of Suzhou (a Wu dialect), or in Mandarin as spoken in
> Suzhou?
>
> Incidentally, do you know of a multidialectal dictionary - or even an
> in-print
> edition of Giles?

I have explained (see below) the connection between the differences in
pinyin [he] and [hu] that linked to the same Chinese word "HE" in a previous
discussion quite a while ago. The Chinese word "HE" can be pronounced in
pinyin as [he] or [hu]. However, [hu] (same Chinese word) is probably used
*only* in mahjong meaning "win". I couldn't find [hu] for this word in my
Chinese dictionary, nor in the Zhongwen.com website.

In my opinion this use (the Chinese word "HE" to sound like [hu] for the
meaning "win") is confusing. The Chinese word "HE" also has the meanings of
"peaceful", "tie", "harmony" and is pronounced as [he]. These meanings are
obviously very different than "win"! There is a more appropriate Chinese
word sounded [hu] for this purpose.

My previous explanation was given when we were discussing "Mo He Pai" quite
a while ago. I said I am not sure if I should use [mo he] or [mo hu] to call
this card game but I continued to use [mo he] anyway. At that moment I
considered the writing [mo he] was not only to mean to present it in pinyin,
but was to allow its reversal so people could track back to the actual
Chinese word "HE". If the pinyin [mo hu] was used people not familiar with
the discussion would most likely convert the pinyin into another Chinese
words.

Thierry also asked:
I am trying to work out what these names mean. "Hwo" apparently is for
Mandarin he2/hu. But what can be "Teens, Deis, Yuns"??
Cofa would you have idea?

Obviously, Julian and Michael already provided the right answers: The terms
"Teens, Deis, Yuns and Hwos" shall mean "Heaven, Earth, People and Harmony".
In addition, I think "Harmony" shall represent the inter-relationship
between all the other three.

Cofa Tsui
www.iMahjong.com
Anonymous
October 11, 2004 3:35:15 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Julian Bradfield" <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:ckatrn$mno$1@scotsman.ed.ac.uk...
> In article <ng0ad.213009$MQ5.177129@attbi_s52>,
> Tom Sloper <tomster@sloperamaNOSPAM.com> wrote:
>>"Julian Bradfield" <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote:
>>>
>>> No. Let me explain more clearly. In a normal traditional Chinese
>>> typeface, ±N has as its top right component the shape ¤i. However, in
>>> Japanese, the same character has as its top right component the
>>> reduced form of ¤ö, as seen in the top half of §´. This is the shape
>>> used on the cover of the book.
>>
>>You mean like http://www.sloperama.com/mjfaq/char/sparrow2.gif? Is that
>>the
>>character on the book cover?
>
> Yes, that's it.

Yapp, this way of writing is not common in Hongkong and perhaps among most
Chinese people.

Your other question that I have missed:
(Also, the left component is written in
> the simplified three-stroke form rather than the full four-stroke
> form, but this I guess is common in handwriting.)

Three-stroke form:
Common in most handwriting. It's formal and standardized in Simplified
Chinese.

Four-stroke:
Common in formal writing and is formal and standardized in Traditional
Chinese.

Cheers!

Cofa Tsui
www.iMahjong.com
Anonymous
October 11, 2004 4:24:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

Julian Bradfield <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> writes:

> I don't remember seeing such a growing dead wall rule elsewhere - does
> it occur in other books?

To answer my own question, maybe...
I've just looked through another recent acquisition (Y. G. Leekun,
"Blue Book: How to Play Mah Jong: Standard Rules", Victoria B.C., date
unknown but probably early 20s). It says:

When the loose tiles are used up, they must be replaced from the end
of the wall, and another stack added to fill the shortage. For each
"Kong" exposed during a game, one stack is added to the six stacks.
If no player wins before all the tiles (excluding the six stacks and
loose tiles) are used up, [...]

How's that for a nice self-contradictory description!
Anonymous
October 11, 2004 4:33:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

Julian Bradfield <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> writes:

> Julian Bradfield <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> writes:
>
>> I don't remember seeing such a growing dead wall rule elsewhere - does
>> it occur in other books?
>
To answer my own question again (sorry!), I have now observed that
Babcock describes this in his chapter on the Chinese game: for each
Kong declared, one stack (two tiles) is moved to the dead wall.
October 12, 2004 12:19:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

Julian Bradfield <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote in message news:<e6czn2t4hh5.fsf@palau.inf.ed.ac.uk>...
> Julian Bradfield <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> writes:
>
> > Julian Bradfield <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> writes:
> >
> >> I don't remember seeing such a growing dead wall rule elsewhere - does
> >> it occur in other books?
> >
> To answer my own question again (sorry!), I have now observed that
> Babcock describes this in his chapter on the Chinese game: for each
> Kong declared, one stack (two tiles) is moved to the dead wall.

I don't know how others play or what the fascination is with this
"dead wall" thing. When we play (both traditional CC and HKOS), we
just draw tiles from the wall until there are 16 tiles left. There is
no such thing as "move to the dead wall", there was never any
separation between the "dead wall" and the "live wall". Kong and
flower replacement tiles are just drawn from the tail of the wall when
necessary. I am curious how other Chinese and non-Chinese players
actually handle this "dead wall" thing because it is totally foreign
to me. Thank you.
Anonymous
October 13, 2004 1:02:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

From: Dee (d_lau@my-deja.com)

>When we play (both traditional CC and HKOS), we
>just draw tiles from the wall until there are 16 tiles left.

16, eh? Odd. The last remaining unused tiles are sometimes known as
"the king's hand" (thus those tiles should number the amount of tiles
held in the hand - 14, unless playing Taiwanese style, then 16 would
make sense).

>I am curious how other Chinese and non-Chinese players
>actually handle this "dead wall" thing because it is totally foreign
>to me.

I'm non-Chinese, so I hope I qualify (^_~). In Japanese mah-jongg,
there is a 14-tile dead wall. A separation is kept between the live
wall and the dead wall so the players can easily count how many picks
they have remaining until the end of the hand.

Greetings from Seoul,
Tom
Anonymous
October 17, 2004 1:30:33 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

Julian Bradfield <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> writes:

I quoted thus:
> In the Ming Dynasty (©ú´Â [ming2chao2]), the game developed to what
> was then called Muoh Hwo cards (©Ù©MµP [mo4 huo2/he2 pai2 (*)]) which also
> had in the set maans, cashes and sogs. Players later added to the
> set 3 kinds of Aces on which were printed flowers called Hwas (ªáµP
> [hua1pai2], Flower cards), and others added four more kinds "Teens,
> Deis, Yuns and Hwos" called Jongs (±N [jiang4] Generals). At this
> stage, the game was given the name of Hwa Jong (flowers and
> generals).

In the light of the discussion, I should add the next sentence:

The Aces are equal to the dragons or honours, and the Generals
equal to the four winds in the game of Maa Jong of this day.
Anonymous
October 18, 2004 3:40:35 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

Julian Bradfield <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote in message news:<e6cvfdkncoo.fsf@palau.inf.ed.ac.uk>...
> Notes on Tam Wing Kwong, "The Game of Sparrow as played in China".

> This is doubly interesting: it is the earliest use I've seen of ? [jiang4]
> `general' rather than ? [que4] `sparrow' as the second word in the
> name, and the only use I know of ? [ma3] `horse' rather than ? [ma2]
> `hemp' as the first.

The 6-volume Grand dictionnaire Ricci de la langue chinoise,
Paris/Taipei, 2001, knows it too:
"ma3 chiang4 (Jeux) Autre nom du MA2 JIANG4 ma2 chiang4 ou mah-jong."
(vol. IV, s.v. MA3 = "horse")

Cheers,
Thierry
Anonymous
October 20, 2004 6:52:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

Julian Bradfield <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote in message news:<e6c8ya6wgly.fsf@feijoa.lan>...
> Julian Bradfield <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> writes:
>
> I quoted thus:
> > In the Ming Dynasty (©ú´Â [ming2chao2]), the game developed to what
> > was then called Muoh Hwo cards (©Ù©MµP [mo4 huo2/he2 pai2 (*)]) which also
> > had in the set maans, cashes and sogs. Players later added to the
> > set 3 kinds of Aces on which were printed flowers called Hwas (ªáµP
> > [hua1pai2], Flower cards), and others added four more kinds "Teens,
> > Deis, Yuns and Hwos" called Jongs (±N [jiang4] Generals). At this
> > stage, the game was given the name of Hwa Jong (flowers and
> > generals).
>
> In the light of the discussion, I should add the next sentence:
>
> The Aces are equal to the dragons or honours, and the Generals
> equal to the four winds in the game of Maa Jong of this day.

I was going to comment on this statement from Julian's book, but on
further reflection I decided the statement was rather ambiguous.
I have two questions I would like to invite comments on.
What period in time is he referring to in the phrase "At this stage"
in the former statement above?
What does he mean by the phrase "equal to" in the latter statement
above?
Cheers
Michael Stanwick
!