Majiang Civilization


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This is a presentation made by Qiyang Qiao
in one of my classes (Languages & Cultures of East Asia) at University of Arizona. All rights are reserved by the author.

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Majiang Civilization

  1. 1. Ke Peng| Student’s Presentations for Languages & Cultures of East Asia Majiang Civilization Presented By Qiyang Qiao
  2. 2. What is Majiang ?
  3. 3. What is Majiang ? • Overall speaking, Majiang is a game for four players that originated in China. It involves skill, strategy, and calculation, as well as a certain degree of chance. Depending on the variation which is played, luck can be anything from a minor to a dominant factor in success. In Asia, Majiang is also popularly played as a gambling game. In this game, you are given either thirteen (mainland and Hong Kong style) or sixteen (Taiwan style) tiles for a hand which is depending on the variation being played.
  4. 4. What is Majiang ? (Cont.) • When your turn comes, you draw a tile and discard one. Your goal is to make four or five melds and a pair, or quot;headquot;. You win quot;on the drawquot;, by drawing a new or discarded tile that completes your hand. Thus a winning hand actually contains fourteen (or seventeen) tiles.
  5. 5. How Does Majiang Organized • Wan (10 thousand) • Bing (Circle)
  6. 6. How Does Majiang Organized (Cont.) • Tiao or Suo (line or stripe) • Characters
  7. 7. A misunderstanding for Majiang • Majiang is branded as the quintessence with Beijing opera in China. • When it comes to Majiang, usually people will combine it with “gambling opium”. • Majiang essentially is not a bad thing but a daughter of the long historic Chinese culture. • On some level, Majiang is the main stream of Chinese civilization in that it has reflected many aspects of ancient Chinese culture.
  8. 8. The Origin of Majiang • Shui Hu Zhuang version: Majiang represents the 108 characters in the novel. • Zheng He (a famous Chinese sailor) version: the five directions stand for the essential elements for sailing and Wan, Bing, Tiao represent the currency in Ming dynasty. • Ning Bo version: a lot of Majiang language have the same pronunciation with Ni Bo dialect. • Jiang Su Tai Cang version: Majiang comes from empirical barn.
  9. 9. Majiang is not made by a person or an organization. • Majiang is created by the development of Chinese social activities and entertainments. • Majiang corresponds to the taste of demotic entertainment and traditional Chinese culture. • Majiang has become a fashionable game which is enjoyed by young and old throughout the history.
  10. 10. Traditional Chinese Philosophical Concepts in Majiang • Taoism • Mathematics • War strategic • Confucianism • Astronomy • Calendar
  11. 11. Taoism in Majiang • The seven special character tiles (East, West, South, North, Central, Blank and Wealth) • Taoism was focused on Wu Xing (Five Elements) and Ba Gua. They believe that the world is made by the five elements: gold, wood, water, fire and earth. • East-Jia, Yi, Wood; West-Geng, Xin, Gold; South-Bing, Ding, Fire; North-Ren, Gui, Water; Central-Wu, Yi, Earth. • Ancient Chinese believe that the world is organized by a round sky and a squarish ground. So Baiban (blank tile) represents the ground whereas Facai (wealth tile) represents the sky.
  12. 12. Mathematics in Majiang • Wan, Bing and Tiao represent the three form of existence of substance respectively. • The entire world was basically organized by circles, lines and the transformation from circles and lines. On top of that, the numbers represent the quantity of the substances in the world. • 3 is the cardinal number and 9 is the limited number. • 12 accounts for a fairly important position. For instance, traditional Chinese culture has the 12 animals which stand for human`s sign, and one day has 12 Shichens (1 Shichen =2 hours) in Chinese calendar.
  13. 13. Mathematics in Majiang (Cont.) • In Majiang, 144 are the square of 12 yet 108 (the total number of three main tiles) is the multiple of 12. • In order to win the game, the super player usually has a very good mathematic background for probability, arrangement and probability. • Sometimes people are supposed to give up winning just because the bonus is too small and he still has a chance to make a “big one” .
  14. 14. War Strategic in Majiang • Tile maneuver, Tile suspension, Tile unfamiliarity (Majiang Language). • The player performs as a commander with abundant experiences, trying to conquer the other three troops. • Guessing, estimating, and adventuring are throughout the whole game. • Spying on the former player; supervising the latter player; watching the opposite player.
  15. 15. Confucianism in Majiang • The mood when the players are playing Majiang. • All the Majiang masters have a same characteristic; that is the pacific temper which is strongly advocated by Confucianism. • Maintain a pacific temper from the beginning to the end. • The lack of patient will always push the player into a dangerous situation which one can hardly make a correct decision and very easy to “set the fire”.
  16. 16. Astronomy and Calendar Relationship with Majiang • The 8 flower tiles: spring, summer, fall, winter, chrysanthemum, orchid, bamboo and wintersweet. • The ancient Chinese use spring, summer, fall, winter to form the calendar and which are just suitable for the four season tiles and their special flowers. • Every player has 13 tiles. 13 times 4 are 52 and a year is organized by 52 weeks. • Another origin hypothesis it that majiang is invented by Seng Yixing, a prestigious researcher for calendar and astronomy.
  17. 17. Prerequisite for A Proficient Majiang Player • One can speak out the Chinese name for each tile. • In a good mathematic standing. • Good memory. • Good at reading people by looking at other players` characteristics. • Be polite.
  18. 18. Majiang Rites • Each Player represent a direction. • One is the dealer, the dealer is like the leader of the game. Game starts from him. • The game runs counterclockwise. • The players need to draw the tiles clockwise. • Player is responsible for speaking out the name of his throwing-out tiles to remind the other players.
  19. 19. Basic Playing Rules • 4 melds plus 1 pair. • About-to-win player has 13 tiles, he win the one he needed to make the 4+1 series. • Hu (win) can be self-made or somebody set the fire. • Peng (bump) and Chi (eat) • Gang is a special action which will increase your bonus and player need to draw a tile from the tail. (3+1)
  20. 20. Special Winning Suit • 13 Yaos
  21. 21. Special Winning Suit (cont.) • 7 pairs
  22. 22. Basic Wining suit • Pure Flush
  23. 23. Basic Wining suit (Cont.) • Mixed Flush
  24. 24. Basic Wining suit (Cont.) • Peng Peng Win
  25. 25. What They Need to Win?
  26. 26. What They Need to Win? (Cont.)
  27. 27. What They Need to Win? (Cont.)
  28. 28. Today`s Majiang • New technology is used for playing Majiang • Automatic Majiang Table • xKM&feature=related • A Growing Number of Majiang Competition Organizations has set up. • People play Majiang all over the world.
  29. 29. Any Questions? Thanks