Episode 4. [Introduction] ~ Formation, Association and Birth of a Mahjong「Pro」~➃(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「May 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

The first ever media organized "Mahjong Title Match” was held in year 45 of the Showa Era (1970).

The name of the event was called "Mahjong Meijin Sen".

Here are the names of the participants.

Tetsuya Asada (Writer) 
Takeo Kojima (Mahjong Writer) 
Hideki Suzuki (Nihon Mahjong Renmei/JPML ) 
Toshio Muraiishi (Nihon Mahjong-Do Renmei) 
Takashi Aoyama (Nihon Pai Gi In)

The main creators of this title match was done by two editors Mr. Y and Mr. M from Shyukan Taishyuu (Futabashya).

Mr. Y was known as the person who named “Tetsuya Asada” and later became a novel writer.

Mr. M then went from Futabashya to became one of the executive staff of an afternoon magazine. He also made many Mahjong strategy books and arts under a different name. So both Mr. Y and Mr. M were very skilled editors.

Tetsuya Asada from Mahjong Hou-Rou-Ki, Takeo Kojima from 11PM, and the sensational Mahjong boom.

With these elements, it was only a matter of time were intelligent editors Mr. Y and Mr. M created Mahjong “Products” like these.

Since this was a product of their weekly magazine, it had to be something that people would read.

It had to be something that Mahjong fans would be obsessed about, and would not be things like novels, columns and strategy books. And if possible, for it to be something that would become a pillar for the magazine. The outcome would eventually become the “Mahjong Meijin Sen”.

Since we are on the topic, let me use some words from one of the first participants, Hideki Suzuki’s essay about the Mahjong Meijin Sen.

Soon after, weekly magazine “Shyukan Taishyu” hosted the Mahjong Meijini Final 10 Match. The five participants (One person waiting during each match) were Tetsuya Asada, Takeo Kojima, Toshio Muraishi, Takashi Aoyama and myself, who was recommended by Renmei.

  Tetsuya Asada was a handle name coming from the meaning “Morning, All Night Long” (Translation: Asa=Morning, Tetsuya=Doing something all night long) and is famous already for writing Mahjong Hou-Rou-Ki and other publications. His veteran reading skills are second to none. He later won the Naoka Award under the name, Takehiro Irokawa. 
  Takeo Kojima was the Mahjong coach in Japan TV’s show, 11PM. He raised some questions when he used some cheating skills when building his wall and changing tiles during games on the show. He was also known for his decisive play style.
  Toshio Muraishi founded the Nihon Mahjong-Do Renmei after splitting ways from the Nihon Mahjong Renmei, and owned Mahjong schools while publishing many Mahjong strategy books. He was well known in the community for his fast winning hands.
  Takashi Ayaka was under Nihon Pai Gi In, which was created by the prodigy Taizo Amano, and was said to be better than his master, Amano with his strong drawing power.
  The match was set to 10 games (One waiting during each match) and there was a person recording the tiles behind each player. This was to record who drew and discarded what tile so they can trace all the action of each match. (And also to prevent cheating)
  The result was published each match on the weekly magazine, with a total of ten weeks. All matches were recorded and the each time, it was discussed based off of the data. Although it was ten matches in total, it was a total of eight games per player since one of them had to sit out during each game.
 Although I didn’t go below 20000 points, I only took first place twice. In comparison, Mr. Aoyama went close to busting twice, but took first place five times.

We should focus on where it states that “This was to record who drew and discarded what tile so they can trace all the action of each match. (And also to prevent cheating)”.

It can be said that the “Magazine based match” was the birth of a new product.

Of course, there were times prior to this where recordings and Pai-Fu were published.

But it was the first time that a Mahjong match was in a weekly publication and was the main draw for a weekly magazine.

[Notes from the writer]In fact, this was the same year where Shyukan Post (Shyogakkan) had a publication for a “5 Week Round Robin Celebrity Mahjong Event”, but we were unable to find out if this or the Meijin Sen was the first to do such an event. We will report back to you once we find out the truth.

The Next Goal After This Event

Another thing to point out, which can also be considered as a secret factor of the Mahjong Meijin Sen, is the fact that there were players from each organization; Nihon Mahjong Renmei, Nihon Pai Gi In and Nihon Mahjong Do Renmei.

So what does this mean?

Takeo Kojima answers this in a MONDOTV interview.

At the time, there were multiple organizations, and the main players from each of them, Haruo Tezuka the chief director of Nihon Mahjong Renmei, Taizo Amano the chairman of Nihon Pai Gi In, Toshio Muraishi the chief director from Nihon Mahjong Do Renmei. The main goal was to bring everyone out to the Meijin Sen.
 But at the end if the day, the important people did not show up.

Why did they want to bring out the “important people”?

I’m guessing that there was a deeper goal for Mr. Y and Mr. M in the long run.

(To be continued)

▲▲▲ Baba Pro’s article ends here▲▲▲