The Taiyo Chemicals Corporation, also known for their mahjong products as AMOS, was established in 1954. It started as a manufacturer of urea resin buttons and imitation pearls for export in the Wakayama prefecture.
When mahjong was becoming popular in the 1960s, AMOS started to manufacture and sell urea resin riichi mahjong tiles in 1969 using the same technology it used to polish imitation pearls made from urea resin. Around that time, Mahjong Horoki began serialization in a weekly magazine, and Take Shobo began publishing the riichi mahjong manga magazine, Kindai Mahjong. Riichi mahjong quickly drew media attention and attracted many players.
After one sewing machine manufacturer made the first automatic mahjong table in 1976, there were as many as eight companies competing to make automatic mahjong tables. They continued testing and improving the functions of these tables, and the predecessors of modern automatic mahjong tables were built.
AMOS was a riichi mahjong tile manufacturing company, but it got into the automatic mahjong table field ten years later. Prevalent automatic mahjong tables at that time were unsightly and had angular wooden frames. AMOS installed streamlined plastic flames on tables and tried to reduce the machine errors for smoother play. Through its corporate effort, AMOS generated massive sales with its mahjong products.
Thirty years have passed since AMOS sold its first automatic mahjong tables in 1988. AMOS has come to lead the industry of riichi mahjong in Japan. Even now, AMOS is always challenging themselves to deliver the best and most reliable products and has attracted players through its innovations.
As you may know, the automatic tables in the -Saki- anime are from AMOS. Saki and the other members use the AMOS MATER model at their club house at Kiyosumi High School. The automatic tables used in the tournaments were replicated after the AMOS ULTIMA. AMOS cooperated with TV Tokyo since the beginning of the -Saki- anime series.
The mahjong tile set named “Gabin” is popular outside of Japan. Not just Gabin, there are also the “Monster” and “Max” sets which are named after discontinued models of automatic tables. These old models cannot be found nowadays outside of mahjong historical museums or perhaps the houses of veteran mahjong players. Clearly, AMOS loves its past models and keeps them forever. Mahjong players, including ourselves, are completely enthralled by AMOS’s spirit.
The CEO at AMOS, Uenishi, was thinking about the inconvenience of the conventional mahjong mat. It was often heavy, unwieldy, and would be stained easily and permanently by food or drink. There was no space on the mat for point sticks, so players would have to put them on a separate table. By this time, Uenishi had created many hybrid products at his company, including mahjong products under the AMOS brand. His rich imagination resulted in the “JUNK MAT” mahjong mat which provided solutions to the problems that conventional mahjong mats faced. It was an innovative new mat that was easy to carry, had slots for the players’ point sticks, and was made with SBR waterproof material which had been used for wetsuits.