Charting archaic rules

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cymb...@free.fr

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Jan 2, 2007, 5:01:57 AM1/2/07
to
Happy New (Western) Year to all!

The following is hot news.

I was curious to chart the early rules we have dug out from various
sources (Li Boyuan, Mauger, etc.) as well as Wilkinson's notes on the
game in 1890 (see "Mahjong rules in... 1890", Dec 2002, my *first* post
to this newsgroup). I wanted to see how it worked using the simple FAQ
2b presentation.

For this I read Mauger again more carefully, and found that I wrongly
stated there were no payments between non-winners. (See Tom's post
"Revised analysis table online" of 14 Dec 2006.) There are payments
between losers!

It's very clearly stated -- although not in the place where it should
be. Mauger writes:

"Celui des quatre joueurs qui sort le premier est le gagnant ; et les
trois autres joueurs doivent lui payer les points sans aucune
déduction.
Si aucun des trois autres joueurs n'ont gagné des points la partie est
terminée, mais s'ils ont aussi gagné des points, ils se paient entre
eux la différence."

(The one of four players who goes out first is the winner; and the
three others must pay him [his] points without deduction. If none of
the three other players has won any point, the game is over; but if
they too have won points, they pay the difference between themselves.)

So we must amend the analysis table we built up:

Pre-1920 CC 1920s* Jap. HKOS
8 Settlement between non-winners NO YES NO NO NO
should read:
8 Settlement between non-winners YES YES NO NO NO

which is another point that strongly links the Mauger rules (and
perhaps Li Boyuan's) to CC, and definitely deserves being called
"Pre-Classical" as Tom suggested. (Please Tom can you modify the
table?)

Now using the FAQ 2b presentation I can add Wilkinson's "rules"
(although very incomplete) thus:

CHINESE ARCHAIC (ca 1890)
* Uses 136 tiles. (No Seasons or Flowers.)
* Hold 15 tiles in the hand, go out on 15 tiles ("as in Kanhoo").
* No special hands.
* Score for Out not mentioned.
* Score: count up points based on "tricks" (i.e. pongs, kongs, and
pairs), according to "tariff".
* "Sequences help towards filling a hand, but are not regarded as
tricks, and score nothing."
* Four own winds ("e.g. the 4 East in the East hand") double "stakes
all round".
* "In some cases" 4 own winds double "the value of all tricks in the
holder's hand only".
* All players earn points (?) -- this is inferred from preceding point.

* Source: Wilkinson 1890.

CHINESE PRE-CLASSICAL (pre-WWI)
* Uses 136 tiles. (No Seasons or Flowers.)
* Hold 13 tiles in the hand, go out on 14 tiles.
* East has no privilege.
* Few special hands.
* Score 10 points for Out, then count up points based on pongs, kongs,
and pairs, then double if appropriate.
* "Concealed" sets are more rewarded (as in CC and Japanese).
* All players earn points (not only the winner).
* Source: Mauger 1915. Li Boyuan seems to use same rules in novel
"Officialdom Unmasked" (Guanchang xianxing ji) of 1903-5.

Any comment is welcome.

Thierry

msta...@aol.com

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Jan 2, 2007, 10:20:32 AM1/2/07
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cymb...@free.fr wrote:
> Happy New (Western) Year to all!

And the same from me.

[snip]

> Any comment is welcome.

Well done on this reconstruction process!

I only have one minor point.

It seems that the number of tiles *used* in the respective game-plays
actually reflect the number of playing pieces in the respective tile
sets (excluding the four spare blanks, if present - as in the Wilkinson
set (140 pieces).

As per Thierry's comment, in the 1889 Wilkinson set there are 136
tiles used in the game-play and there are 136 pieces available for play
in the tile set.

There are 140 tiles in the 1901 Laufer set so I would assume 136
effective playing pieces as well.

As per Thierry's comment, in the 1915 Mauger set there are 136 tiles
used in the game-play and there are 136 pieces available for play in
the tile set.

Xu Ke (1917) also mentions 136 tiles in a set and I would assume he
means the number of playing pieces.

BUT, Culin in 1909 picked up a tile set with 148 pieces. If we assume
four of the blank tiles are spares and the rest of the pieces are
available for play, then that gives us 144 playing pieces. The extra
playing pieces are the four 'Flowers' and four 'Seasons'. The
assumption that these are in fact playing-pieces is not wholly
unwarranted. There is some mention by Babcock and Foster regarding
their use by Chinese players in the Chinese game. But no date is given
as to when, nor any references.

In view of the existence of these tiles in 1909 and some indirect
remarks of their use in a Chinese game, I did wonder if there may well
have been a variation of the pre WW1 - 1920 game that did incorporate
these tiles. Alas, there is only a contemporaneous tile set and some
comments from some Western 1920's sources for this proposal.

Of course, the extra pieces could also have been included as decoration
for the foreign tourists - if Culin could be counted as one.

Cheers
Michael

msta...@aol.com

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Jan 2, 2007, 10:23:29 AM1/2/07
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cymb...@free.fr wrote:
> Happy New (Western) Year to all!

And from me also.

[snip]

> Any comment is welcome.

Well done on this reconstruction process!

I only have one minor point.

It seems that the number of tiles *used* in the respective game-plays
actually reflect the number of playing pieces in the respective tile
sets (excluding the four spare blanks, if present - as in the Wilkinson
set (140 pieces).

As per Thierry's comment, in the 1889 Wilkinson set there are 136
tiles used in the game-play and there are 136 pieces available for play
in the tile set.

There are 140 tiles in the 1901 Laufer set so I would assume 136
effective playing pieces as well.

As per Thierry's comment, in the 1915 Mauger set there are 136 tiles
used in the game-play and there are 136 pieces available for play in
the tile set.

Xu Ke (1917) also mentions 136 tiles in a set and I would assume he
means the number of playing pieces.

BUT, Culin in 1909 picked up a tile set with 148 pieces. If we assume
four of the blank tiles are spares and the rest of the pieces are
available for play, then that gives us 144 playing pieces. The extra
playing pieces are the four 'Flowers' and four 'Seasons'. The
assumption that these are in fact playing-pieces is not wholly
unwarranted. There is some mention by Babcock and Foster regarding

their use by Chinese players in the Chinese game. But no date is given,
nor any references.

In view of the existence of these 8 tiles in 1909 and some indirect
remarks regarding their use in the Chinese game, I did wonder if there


may well have been a variation of the pre WW1 - 1920 game that did

incorporate these tiles. Alas, there is only a contemporary tile set

Cofa Tsui

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Jan 2, 2007, 12:29:13 PM1/2/07
to
cymb...@free.fr wrote:
> Happy New (Western) Year to all!
>
> The following is hot news.
>
> I was curious to chart the early rules we have dug out from various
> sources (Li Boyuan, Mauger, etc.) as well as Wilkinson's notes on the
> game in 1890 (see "Mahjong rules in... 1890", Dec 2002, my *first* post
> to this newsgroup). I wanted to see how it worked using the simple FAQ
> 2b presentation.
>
> For this I read Mauger again more carefully, and found that I wrongly
> stated there were no payments between non-winners. (See Tom's post
> "Revised analysis table online" of 14 Dec 2006.) There are payments
> between losers!
>
> It's very clearly stated -- although not in the place where it should
> be. Mauger writes:
>
> "Celui des quatre joueurs qui sort le premier est le gagnant ; et les
> trois autres joueurs doivent lui payer les points sans aucune
> déduction.
> Si aucun des trois autres joueurs n'ont gagné des points la partie est
> terminée, mais s'ils ont aussi gagné des points, ils se paient entre
> eux la différence."
>
> (The one of four players who goes out first is the winner; and the
> three others must pay him [his] points without deduction. If none of
> the three other players has won any point, the game is over; but if
> they too have won points, they pay the difference between themselves.)

Good work! I still consider "settlement between non-winning players" is
one of the "most important" features of the CC-like form (many here
do). Perhaps Tom can now happily change his mind back again?! ^_^

Looks like the CC-like form is now advanced to 1915 - But Thierry,
there is a 10-year gap between the writting of Li (1903) and of Mauger.
Could you comment on the Mauger's source, I mean if there is any
possibility his writing could have been influenced by any changes of
the game observed over the period (1903-1915), or by any current forms
available to him that already having the "settlement between
non-winning players" feature, at the time he wrote his rules?

>
> So we must amend the analysis table we built up:
>
> Pre-1920 CC 1920s* Jap. HKOS
> 8 Settlement between non-winners NO YES NO NO NO
> should read:
> 8 Settlement between non-winners YES YES NO NO NO
>
> which is another point that strongly links the Mauger rules (and
> perhaps Li Boyuan's) to CC, and definitely deserves being called
> "Pre-Classical" as Tom suggested. (Please Tom can you modify the
> table?)

[...]

Perhaps we should now call these two pieces of writing by two different
names - applying Michael's naming standards:
- 1903 Ma Que (Li Boyuan) (or 1903 Li; I personnally prefer 1903 Ma Que
as it also tells the name it is called back then)
- 1915 Mauger

Of course, these two forms and any new discoveries, can still be called
the "Pre-1920" forms, but all of them can still be identified
individually.

Cheers!

-----
Cofa Tsui
www.iMahjong.com

cymb...@free.fr

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Jan 2, 2007, 12:48:15 PM1/2/07
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Hello Cofa!

You wrote:

> Looks like the CC-like form is now advanced to 1915 - But Thierry,
> there is a 10-year gap between the writting of Li (1903) and of Mauger.

I agree.

> Could you comment on the Mauger's source, I mean if there is any
> possibility his writing could have been influenced by any changes of
> the game observed over the period (1903-1915), or by any current forms
> available to him that already having the "settlement between
> non-winning players" feature, at the time he wrote his rules?

I don't think so. Mauger was a strange man who got interested in
Chinese games right before writing his article. His previous researches
were devoted to local (Jersey) archaeology and mineralogy (together
with Pierre Teilhard de Chardin!). So it seems he met some Chinese,
presumably living in Paris (and presumably from Hankou) who taught him
the game.

However, there is evidence that he got more than one game, since he
mentions various tile designs (regular Red, White, Green Dragons AND
'Long', 'Feng', White; Pin suit as well as Wan suit). As far as the
rules are concerned he does not mention any variations.

> Perhaps we should now call these two pieces of writing by two different
> names - applying Michael's naming standards:

Yes, perhaps, although it is not clear how different Li's and Mauger's
rules are.
After all we are not sure there were no payments between losers in Li
Boyuan's novel.
(BTW the English translation being "abridged" has not retained this
passage. Too bad.)

Cheers,
Thierry

msta...@aol.com

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Jan 2, 2007, 4:55:35 PM1/2/07
to
Cofa Tsui wrote:

> [snip] Perhaps Tom can now happily change his mind back again?! ^_^

Tut, tut, tut! ^_^

Remember, the issue of the person and the issue of changing their mind
again, is irrelevant!

What IS relevant are the reasons for doing so. In this case there might
be some dispute over the relevant criteria and hence some dispute over
the reasons for doing so. If the reasons are bad, in that the evidence
is not in the proposition's favour, then changing ones proposition or
claim is wholly expected and laudable. Conversely, if the evidence is
deemed to be in the propositions favour then there are good reasons for
holding the proposition. But as I said, it rest on the criteria for
assessing whether the evidence is in the claim's favour or not.

I just wouldn't advocate personalising an issue - even in jest. ^_^

Cheers!
Michael

Tom Sloper

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Jan 2, 2007, 5:17:44 PM1/2/07
to
Thierry wrote:
>Happy New (Western) Year to all!

Right back atcha. (^_^)

>The following is hot news.

It certainly is!

>I was curious to chart the early rules we have dug out from various
>sources (Li Boyuan, Mauger, etc.) as well as Wilkinson's notes on the
>game in 1890 (see "Mahjong rules in... 1890", Dec 2002, my *first* post
>to this newsgroup). I wanted to see how it worked using the simple FAQ
>2b presentation.
>
>For this I read Mauger again more carefully, and found that I wrongly
>stated there were no payments between non-winners. (See Tom's post
>"Revised analysis table online" of 14 Dec 2006.) There are payments
>between losers!
>

>So we must amend the analysis table we built up:
>
> Pre-1920 CC 1920s* Jap. HKOS
>8 Settlement between non-winners NO YES NO NO NO
>should read:
>8 Settlement between non-winners YES YES NO NO NO
>
>which is another point that strongly links the Mauger rules (and
>perhaps Li Boyuan's) to CC, and definitely deserves being called
>"Pre-Classical" as Tom suggested. (Please Tom can you modify the
>table?)

Done. Merci beaucoups. http://www.sloperama.com/mahjongg/analysis.html

>Now using the FAQ 2b presentation I can add Wilkinson's "rules"
>(although very incomplete) thus:
>
>CHINESE ARCHAIC (ca 1890)

[snip]
>CHINESE PRE-CLASSICAL (pre-WWI)
[snip]

Excellent. I've added these two to the variants list in FAQ 2b.

--

Michael Stanwick wrote:

>As per Thierry's comment, in the 1889 Wilkinson set there are 136
>tiles used in the game-play and there are 136 pieces available for play
>in the tile set.

This is borne out by your own photo of the Wilkinson set in the British
Museum.

>There are 140 tiles in the 1901 Laufer set so I would assume 136
>effective playing pieces as well.
>
>As per Thierry's comment, in the 1915 Mauger set there are 136 tiles
>used in the game-play and there are 136 pieces available for play in
>the tile set.
>
>Xu Ke (1917) also mentions 136 tiles in a set and I would assume he
>means the number of playing pieces.
>
>BUT, Culin in 1909 picked up a tile set with 148 pieces. If we assume
>four of the blank tiles are spares and the rest of the pieces are
>available for play, then that gives us 144 playing pieces. The extra
>playing pieces are the four 'Flowers' and four 'Seasons'.

Right. Without the usual 4 extra blank tiles. This is borne out by your own
photo of the Culin set.

>The
>assumption that these are in fact playing-pieces is not wholly
>unwarranted. There is some mention by Babcock and Foster regarding
>their use by Chinese players in the Chinese game. But no date is given,
>nor any references.
>
>In view of the existence of these 8 tiles in 1909 and some indirect
>remarks regarding their use in the Chinese game, I did wonder if there
>may well have been a variation of the pre WW1 - 1920 game that did
>incorporate these tiles. Alas, there is only a contemporary tile set

I assume you mean the Culin set?

>and some comments from some Western 1920's sources for this proposal.
>
>Of course, the extra pieces could also have been included as decoration
>for the foreign tourists - if Culin could be counted as one.

It seems you are suggesting that the flower/season tiles (for which we have
no earlier evidence than 1909, and which were included in some sets and not
in others between 1909 and 1920) may not have been used in play? I wonder if
you could clarify what you are suggesting.

It seems unlikely to me that flower/season tiles would have been added to
the set without any intention of their being used in play.

--

Cofa wrote:

>Good work! I still consider "settlement between non-winning players" is
>one of the "most important" features of the CC-like form (many here
>do). Perhaps Tom can now happily change his mind back again?! ^_^

I don't understand what you're suggesting. The analysis chart has listed
this feature as a hallmark of CC for over two weeks.

--

Thierry wrote re Mauger:

>However, there is evidence that he got more than one game, since he
>mentions various tile designs (regular Red, White, Green Dragons AND
>'Long', 'Feng', White; Pin suit as well as Wan suit). As far as the
>rules are concerned he does not mention any variations.

So do you think he could have been describing one set with both zhong and
leung, with both fa and feng? I think he must have seen multiple sets. And
if the "pin" suit looks like craks but in place of the "wan" character we
see a character made of three boxes, then surely that's two different sets.

And yes, the rules needn't be different if the tiles merely look different
from one another in this way.

Cheers,
Tom


Cofa Tsui

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Jan 3, 2007, 1:27:46 AM1/3/07
to
"Tom Sloper" <tsl...@DONTsloperamaSPAMME.com> wrote in message
news:CrydnVsswa9PRwfY...@giganews.com...

>
> I don't understand what you're suggesting. The analysis chart has listed
> this feature as a hallmark of CC for over two weeks.

I have seen your chart, it says the feature is a hallmark of CC. This does
not mean you have changed your mind back, or does it? So many things have
changed in the past month including your not considering this being the
"most essential feature" of CC as of Dec 12; but since then nothing about
your position on this issue seems to have changed. Just wanted to clear it
up, if you don't mind?! (Answering is optional, though ^_^)

> Thierry wrote re Mauger:
>
>>However, there is evidence that he got more than one game, since he
>>mentions various tile designs (regular Red, White, Green Dragons AND
>>'Long', 'Feng', White; Pin suit as well as Wan suit). As far as the
>>rules are concerned he does not mention any variations.
>
> So do you think he could have been describing one set with both zhong and
> leung, with both fa and feng? I think he must have seen multiple sets. And
> if the "pin" suit looks like craks but in place of the "wan" character we
> see a character made of three boxes, then surely that's two different
> sets.

As to the "Pin suit", could this be "Bing suit" (the "cake" suit, equivalent
to "circle", "dot") instead?

As to the mentioning of any variations: Would you expect that variants could
be obvious, many, few or very rare, at that time (circa 1915)?

Thierry wrote:
> Yes, perhaps, although it is not clear how different Li's and Mauger's
> rules are.
> After all we are not sure there were no payments between losers in Li
> Boyuan's novel.
> (BTW the English translation being "abridged" has not retained this
> passage. Too bad.)

I would love to see a "rulebook" in ancient Chinese being unfolded - But
before then this small piece of Li's article could already tell so much
about the game "Ma Que", including no settlement between non-winning
players. At least this is my understanding. Perhaps other Chinese reading
regulars could also tell us about their understanding of that piece of info
(http://www.imahjong.com/maiarchives205d.html).

--
Cofa Tsui
www.iMahjong.com


Cofa Tsui

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Jan 3, 2007, 3:07:03 AM1/3/07
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<msta...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:1167774931....@48g2000cwx.googlegroups.com...

[...]


>
> I just wouldn't advocate personalising an issue - even in jest. ^_^

Thanks Michael, I understand what you mean. I just wanted to make things
clear - As I have answered to Tom directly.

I guess that could be important to everyone about the issue in general. I
don't mean to be personal. But in case it is thought otherwise, "jesting" it
means an answer is optional ^_^

--
Cofa Tsui
www.iMahjong.com


cymb...@free.fr

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Jan 3, 2007, 9:40:32 AM1/3/07
to
Cofa Tsui wrote:

> As to the "Pin suit", could this be "Bing suit" (the "cake" suit, equivalent
> to "circle", "dot") instead?

No. Mauger speaks of "Pingtze ou gâteaux" (bingzi or cakes) only.
He does not mention 'pin' explicitely but some illustrations show the
'pin' character instead of wan.

> As to the mentioning of any variations: Would you expect that variants could
> be obvious, many, few or very rare, at that time (circa 1915)?

The illustrations (and sometimes the text) clearly show Mauger has seen
(or heard of) multiple sets, with different tile designs (wan AND pin,
zhong AND long, etc.).

But, as I said, as far as the gameplay is concerned he only knows of
one set of rules (for which he even gives examples of scores), and
there is no evidence of any variations in these rules.

> I would love to see a "rulebook" in ancient Chinese being unfolded - But
> before then this small piece of Li's article could already tell so much
> about the game "Ma Que", including no settlement between non-winning
> players. At least this is my understanding. Perhaps other Chinese reading
> regulars could also tell us about their understanding of that piece of info
> (http://www.imahjong.com/maiarchives205d.html).

We have for the moment no actual translation of this passage. Michael
Stanwick has got a copy of the English translation, but this passage is
not in it.

It is always difficult to infer exact rules from a game in action as
told in a literary (or musical) piece.
>From your own and ithinc's interpretation I got the feeling they
followed similar rules as in Mauger, but I may have been misled.

Cheers,

Thierry

msta...@aol.com

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Jan 3, 2007, 10:09:44 AM1/3/07
to
Tom Sloper wrote:
[snip]

> I assume you mean the Culin set?

yes.

[snip]


> It seems you are suggesting that the flower/season tiles (for which we have
> no earlier evidence than 1909, and which were included in some sets and not
> in others between 1909 and 1920) may not have been used in play? I wonder if
> you could clarify what you are suggesting.

Sure. There are 2 possibilities. The Flowers/Seasons were playing
pieces. The Flowers/Seasons were decorative pieces.

> It seems unlikely to me that flower/season tiles would have been added to
> the set without any intention of their being used in play.

That is my inclination. In other words, they are more than likely
playing pieces. If this is the case, then would Culin's set suggest a
slightly different game played with the addition of these tiles?

Cheers
Michael

msta...@aol.com

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Jan 3, 2007, 11:12:33 AM1/3/07
to
cymb...@free.fr wrote:
> Cofa Tsui wrote:
>
> > As to the "Pin suit", could this be "Bing suit" (the "cake" suit, equivalent
> > to "circle", "dot") instead?
>
> No. Mauger speaks of "Pingtze ou gâteaux" (bingzi or cakes) only.
> He does not mention 'pin' explicitely but some illustrations show the
> 'pin' character instead of wan.
>
> > As to the mentioning of any variations: Would you expect that variants could
> > be obvious, many, few or very rare, at that time (circa 1915)?
>
> The illustrations (and sometimes the text) clearly show Mauger has seen
> (or heard of) multiple sets, with different tile designs (wan AND pin,
> zhong AND long, etc.).

This is right.

But it is my view that Mauger may not have seen any tile set at all. I
think he received his information from a Chinese friend who explained
the tile set and the game-play to him.

Mauger's description is repeated and analysed in my concluding article
'Mahjong(g), before and after Mahjong(g): Part 2, The Playing-card,
Volume 35, Number 1. (Copies are available)

>From my analysis of his description and the diagrams in his article, I
presented colored diagrams of a reconstruction of what his basic tile
set would likely have looked like, plus the other variations he
describes for the 'Directions' and the so-called 'Dragons' group.

I think the basic set was similar (though NOT identical) to Culin's and
Nagawa's of circa 1910 (excluding the Flowers/Seasons) in the use of
the a decorative # 1 'circle' and a darting sparrow for the # 1
'bamboos'. The main difference of the Mauger sets was in the
iconography of the 'wan/myriads' group. In place of the 'wan' symbol
was a swastika in the clockwise formation. According to Eberhard, from
AD 700 the 'swastika' has been used to mean 'ten thousand', symbolising
infinity. In my view a good exlanation for its use in Mauger's sets.
The rest of the 'wan' group uses the symbol 'pin', meaning rank or
grade.

According to Mauger's Chinese friend, it seems that the 'Directions'
group could be replaced with 'Duke', 'Marquis', 'Marshal/General', and
'Premier/Minister' symbols and the 'Dragons' with 'Long' and 'Feng'
(bai/white staying the same).

These variations in symbols of the tile set are not without examples -
I also discuss an earlier tile set uncovered by Doctor Andrew Lo. I
managed to track down a description of this tile set and had it
translated from old Chinese. The set dates from somewhere between 1884
- 1892 on current evidence. This set had a Wan wang, or King of Myriads
tile, but the iconography of the 'myriads' symbol was the 'Pin'
character. It seems that the suit may still have been known as the
'wan' suit even though it sported different symbols for 'wan'.

Further, I have pictures of a tile set from the 1920's with the 'pin'
character instead of the 'wan' character and this set has 'zhong', 'fa'
and 'bai' and the usual 'E, S, W and N' 'Directions'.

The Japanese MJ Museum owns at least 2 sets with the other arrangement
- the 'pin' character instead of the 'wan' character - but this time
the 'Duke', 'Marquis', 'General' and Minister' symbols instead of the
'Directions' symbols, and with the 'Long' and 'Feng' instead of the 2
'Dragons' symbols 'zhong' and 'fa'.

It seems to me that one type of tile set was much more 'Imperial' in
nature - using the 4 ranks of nobility (of the Imperial Court?) and
together the 'Long' and 'Feng' could represent the Emperor and Empress.
I did wonder whether the 'pin' character meaning 'rank' or 'grade' of
Confucian officialdom was also part of this hierarchy?

Cheers
Michael

cymb...@free.fr

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Jan 3, 2007, 11:27:59 AM1/3/07
to
Michael, you wrote:

> But it is my view that Mauger may not have seen any tile set at all. I
> think he received his information from a Chinese friend who explained
> the tile set and the game-play to him.

This would have been extremely difficult!!

Can you imagine learning mahjong (or any game) without material?
No, Mauger must have seen at least one set, if not two or three into
his Chinese friends' hands.
(They certainly brought them from China in order to play in Paris. They
knew they wouln't find mahjong sets there.)

Edouard Cuyer, the illustrator must have seen one or two sets just to
reproduce the designs even if imperfectly. (But he got the essentials.)

There must have been a few sets circulating in Paris in 1914/15.
Michael, it's something you should hunt! ;-)

Cheers,
Thierry

Tom Sloper

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Jan 3, 2007, 11:37:57 AM1/3/07
to
Michael wrote:

> That [flowers/seasons were for play, not for decoration] is my

> inclination. In other words, they are more than likely
> playing pieces. If this is the case, then would Culin's set suggest a
> slightly different game played with the addition of these tiles?

A game with an additive rule, yes.
Cheers,
Tom


msta...@aol.com

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Jan 3, 2007, 1:30:44 PM1/3/07
to

cymb...@free.fr wrote:
> Michael, you wrote:
>
> > But it is my view that Mauger may not have seen any tile set at all. I
> > think he received his information from a Chinese friend who explained
> > the tile set and the game-play to him.
>
> This would have been extremely difficult!!
>
> Can you imagine learning mahjong (or any game) without material?

But does Mauger actually say he played the game? I wondered whether he
was reading up on Chinese games and came across a reference to ma qiao
pai and asked a Chinese friend (where was he staying I wonder - a
Chinese Embassy?) to explain this game. Or does he mention playing it
in the rest of the article?

As to the diagrams, they could have been copied from sketches given by
the Chinese friend.

But I suppose this may be streching it a bit!

> No, Mauger must have seen at least one set, if not two or three into
> his Chinese friends' hands.
> (They certainly brought them from China in order to play in Paris. They
> knew they wouln't find mahjong sets there.)

Ths is probably more accurate I think.

> There must have been a few sets circulating in Paris in 1914/15.
> Michael, it's something you should hunt! ;-)

That would be a find!

Cheers
Michael

cymb...@free.fr

unread,
Jan 4, 2007, 5:16:02 AM1/4/07
to
msta...@aol.com a écrit :

> But does Mauger actually say he played the game?

The many details he gives and the examples of final hands and scoring
clearly show he had been familiar with the game, even if recently.

> I wondered whether he was reading up on Chinese games
> and came across a reference to ma qiao pai

This is very unlikely. Mauger knew no Chinese, and I think he could not
have found but an oblique reference to 'ma qiao pai' in the Western
literature. He nevertheless was aware Wilkinson's 'Chung fa' was
something similar.
His main readings are Culin and Wilkinson, at least what they had
published by 1915.
(This does not include of course Culin's article of 1924 and his
reminiscences of his trip to China in 1909.)

> and asked a Chinese friend (where was he staying I wonder - a
> Chinese Embassy?) to explain this game.

There were many Chinese students in Paris. And they had been "trapped"
by the war which suddenly made travels to China very dangerous. German
U-Boots could attack everywhere!

Perhaps there were Chinese students studying at the Muséum d'Histoire
Naturelle where Mauger were taking lessons from Teilhard de Chardin.

Just an hypothesis.

Cheers
Thierry

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