Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Mahjong (alternately spelled Mah-jongg) is a Chinese tile game with mysterious beginnings—experts suggest alternate dates for the conception of the game—but has a promising future with worldwide competitions and leagues. Mahjong has transcended cultures, finding popularity from Argentina to South Africa, and bringing people together from all walks of life to enjoy this game on the internet, in tournaments, in parks, and in Mahjong parlors. Historians agree that Mahjong evolved from older Chinese card games that were played for money; however, there is a debate about when and how the game was developed, because there is no early documentation on the game. Mahjong resembles many other ancient Chinese games, particularly card games such as Ya Pai or gambling games, because the symbols on the Mahjong tiles represent the currency that was once used in place of cards. Erwei Dong claims that the game was developed by Confucius around 500 b.c.e., ...