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By Tom Sloper (トム•スローパー)
2008年 7月 27日
Column #374

Japanese Modern (riichi/dora). The community of riichiphiles (a word I just made up to refer to fans of Japanese majan) has a new English-language resource. I'm talking about Discard Quiz, a gem of a booklet by pro player Takunori Kajimoto, author of a larger version in Japanese, and co-author of Mai Hatsune's book, Challenge the World with Mai Hatsune.

At 98 pages, it's liberally sprinkled with photos from international mah-jongg events. Kajimoto's booklet, as you might discern from the photo, is handmade for the time being, but the author tells me that he's seeking a publisher for the next edition.

As the title implies, the book is a compilation of 40 "discard quizzes." Hand puzzles are regularly featured in the margins of Kindai Majan, the bi-weekly manga. My problem with the margin puzzles in Kindai Majan is, of course, that although I read katakana and hiragana, I'm functionally illiterate in Japanese. While I can see the best tile to discard, I can never read the reason! Kajimoto's booklet addresses this problem very neatly. Here's an example (quiz #6):

The answer: 8P. Why? Because you should be aiming for sanshoku (mixed triple chow), in either 456 or 567. Discarding 8P is the fastest route to that goal.

Kajimoto further advises that if you later pick 4S, you should abandon plan A, because discarding the dora indicator (3S) is likely to give aid and comfort to the enemy. I asked, and Kajimoto told me dora indicators are often desired, due to their relative scarcity. Many players, he says, will snap one up to fill a closed wait (in this case, 234).

Discard Quiz is available directly from the author by email for a nominal cost to cover printing and postage. Email kaji.mahjong at gmail dot com, and tell him you read this column. Highly recommended reading for those riichiphiles interested in improving their game.

Other works by Kajimoto


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