Episode 3. [Introduction] ~ Formation, Association and Birth of a Mahjong「Pro」~➂(Babby’s New・「Professional Theory」)

Check Mahjong No Jan-Ryu for the original article.

*Translation of the original article start below*

This article is from one of monthly magazine “Mahjong Kai”’s popular articles called Babby’s New・「Professional Theory」. Below will be a special post from the magazine that was released on the「April 1st, 2016 Edition」(Bold and colored fonts were added for the purpose of this site)

▼▼▼ Baba Pro’s article follows below ▼▼▼

Mahjong Boom Has Arrived

Let’s turn back the clock and revisit the Mahjong boom that occurred in year 40 of the Showa Era (1965).

It was the time right after when Japan had rapid growth after WWII, and Mahjong was considered an average salary-man’s “required subject”.

This was because “Settai Mahjong” (Where you make you’re customer feel good to your ability) and “Mahjong Events” were held often as a way of social communication.

You may have a better idea if you think about “Settai Golf” and “Golf Competionions” in terms of modern era relativeness.

There were 2 Mahjong strategy books that took by storm for these salary men.

One was “Gomi Mahjong Kyo-Shitsu” (Translates to Gomi Mahjong Class) by Yasusuke Gomi (Published in 1966 by Koubunshya) and the other was “Mahjong Suiri” (Translates to Mahjong Reasoning) by Tetsuya Asada (Published in 1966 by Futabashya)

※Note “Mahjong Suiri” was then re-titled to “A-Class Mahjong”.

 

 Yasusuke Gomi who also won the Akutagawa Prize as an author

Yasusuke Gomi who also won the Akutagawa Prize as an author

IMG_0054.JPG

 

Followed byTetsuya Asada’s Big Hit Mahjong Novel “Mahjong Hou-Rou-Ki” (Translates to A Mahjong Wanderer’s Notebook) (Published in 1969 by Futabashya and also by Bunshyun Bunko and Kadogawa Bunko)

Also from 1968, the late night show “11PM” also had a segment that was aired every Friday by Kyosen Oohashi, called “Mahjong Jissen Kyoshitsu” (Translates to Mahjong Tactical Class)which also created Mahjong fans outside of the normal salary men.

This was the show where Takeo Kojima first appeared in front of the Mahjong fans.

The destined Tetsuya Asada from “Mahjong Hou-Rou-Ki” and Takeo Kojma from “Mahjong Jissen Kyoshitsu” met at a Jan-Sou called “A-I-U-E-O” in Jinbo-Chou.

 

“I was actually working there at the time. It was a Mahjong club that had over 200 tables. If you gather all the tables from places nearby Jinbo-Chou, it would probably not make 200, so it was a pretty bug Mahjong club. The 4th floor was a dometory and a cafeteria, and I was living there while working. One day, Asada-Sensei, Koji Kata (A critic and a researcher), San-Yuu-Tei Enraku (Traditional Japanese comedian) and other famous people came in, and had a match for a magazine. I was on the 11PM show at the time, and Asada-Sensei seemed like he was watching the show on a regular basis. So he had some interest in me, and said he wanted to play Mahjong with me.”

(Takeo Kojima・From MONDOTV’s Special Interview)

You can tell how big the Mahjong boom was back then just from hearing 200 tables.

The meeting between Tetsuya Asada and Takeo Kojima took the Mahjong boom to a new level.

Magazine, Shyukan Taishyu (Futabashya) established the “Mahjong Meijin Sen” (Translates to Mahjong Expert Matches) in year 45 of the Showa Era (1970).

This Mahjong title match can be well said that it was the first of its kind in Japan, and Tetsuya Asada and Takeo Kojima participated as well.

The key factor here is, who created the “Meijin Sen”.

Rumor has it that it was proposed by both Asada and Kojima, and although it is not totally incorrect, the actual producers were two talented editors. Mr. Y and Mr. M.

I believe that this Meijin Sen was what created the movement where “Mahjong Media” creates “Mahjong Professionals”, but let’s go over that a little deeper next time.

(To be continued)

▲▲▲ Baba Pro’s article ends here▲▲▲