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We are the MAHJONG GEEKS!

    People who don't play mahjong may hear the phrase "I like Mahjong" and associate this person as "someone who plays Mahjong". There may be other associations such as gambling and Alzheimer prevention, but that is still an association derived from "someone who plays Mahjong”.


    So, are those who like Mahjong only consisted of those who only like to play Mahjong? For example, people who say “I like baseball” are not only people who play baseball. Even if one has never played baseball, they may like to watching games, collect cards, follow stats of a player, etc. There is a surprising number of types of people who like baseball who do may not necessarily like to play. Just like that, there can be Mahjong nerds who may like some niche aspects of Mahjong.

<Game Watchers>

・ Professional game watching (Videos)

This is your typical mahjong nerd. These guys like to think about what’s going on inside of the pros’ heads as they make decisions, think about what they would do in the same situation, and learn and ruminate while listening to the commentary. 

 

・ Professional game watching (In person) 

The increase in the number of people who visit public viewing spaces can be accredited to the founding of the M-league. However, there were a number of people who existed before the M-League who go and stand behind the pros to watch them play. They get to experience the timing of their breathing, suffering, and pleasure. They will stand all day long and apparently there are some who go to the bathroom at the same time as their favorite players…

<Pro Player Otaku>


・ Memory Makers
They do not care about winning or losing in tournaments and instead. They only join tournaments to play with as many pros as possible to create memories of playing with the top group.

・ Social Media Stalkers
They check their favorite pros’ social media 24/7, give them likes, and comment on their posts.

・ Collectors

They like to collect autographs and take pictures with their favorite Mahjong pro players.

・ Listeners
They like to listen to free talk between the pro Mahjong players more than anything. They are more interested in the commentary than the actual game.

· Warriors
They find it to be more fulfilling to play with the pros and win, rather than having fun.

・ Store Runners
They are people who like to go to stores where the pros work at and talk with them.

・ Impersonators
They like to present the impersonations of the pros’. They grasp these aspects by watching their videos. A lot of them have practiced well and are pretty good at it.

・ Artists
They like to draw their favorite professional players in a cartoonish manner. There are those who draw amazing drawings leading to some selling their art to fans.

<Mahjong Fashionistas>

・ Accessories

They make and sell their own Mahjong themed accessories.

 

・ Clothes

They wear Mahjong related clothes.

<Mahjong Gamers>

They post screen shots of their screen when they finish with a Yakuman. They also like to post video commentary of discontinued mahjong games and/or stream live games.

 

<Manga / Anime Otaku>

Saki and Akagi are two of the most popular Mahjong themed manga/anime in Japan, and these nerds are crazy about the series. Akagi's grave is a well-known site among fans, but Saki's fans are just amazing as they go on a hunt to find the scenes from the cartoon in the real world. 

<Collectors>

・ Tactics Books Collector

We don’t really know if they actually read these books, but they go and collect these books whether they be old or new.

 

・ Mahjong Miscellaneous Items Collectors

The Mahjong museum had recently closed, but there were various Mahjong related items exhibited in this museum, such as mahjong tiles, tables, books, mahjong paintings, and handmade tiles.

<Active Geeks>

・ Mahjong Magicians

They obsessively practice Mahjong hand tricks and tile handling.

 

・ Tile Cleaners

There is a rise in people posting videos about this, and they compete to see who can clean the Mahjong tiles the fastes. There are also those who are compete the for the fastest time of cleaning two sets of tiles for the automatic Mahjong tables. They are also surprisingly very fast.

・ Mahjong Idol Followers

Apparently there are a couple of Mahjong themed idol units in Japan. These guys love to go to their concerts.

 

・ Janso Raters

There are many Jansos in Japan, and these guys go to them and give them a rating based on food, drinks, the friendliness of the staff on their blogs.

 

・ Mahjong Youtubers

Starting with Hinatatan, some people operate mahjong-specialized YouTube channels. They showcase how to, manners, and various rules in a very creative manner so it is very enjoyable!

<Academics>

・ Mahjong Score Reader

Since TVs did not exist in the past, people used to record Mahjong games on paper and read it to discuss about the game. With the emergence of Tenho and the like, the records have become digitalized but in the old days it was said that they studied by reading the paper.

 

・ Mahjong Historians

They are people who study the history of Riichi Mahjong in Japan. It seems that research is difficult since there are barely any publications left, but I think their research results are vital and extremely valuable.

・ Mahjong Mathematicians

With the development of the internet making it easier to publish findings and share opinions, there has been an increase in people who study mahjong from a mathematical perspective. It is rumored that among them is a group formed by scholar level groups that meets and studies on the mathematics of Mahjong on a daily basis. There are numerous tactical books based on mathematics, and these people may help uncover some interesting tactics of this game that may help in the proliferation of Mahjong.

 

・ Mahjong AI Geeks

Most of the people who actually create Mahjong AIs are students in Universities, but there are also people who do data acquisition and analysis by having the AI play on online platforms such as Tenho. One famous AI is Bakuuchi. Some of them played against the pros and played in the Tenho cup. There were even books published, and it received a copious amount of attention for a while.

<There is still more mania>

・ Werewolf Game

At first glance, it may seem like it doesn’t have any relation to mahjong, but Slialo Channel has an independent channel dedicated to the werewolf game because Mahjong pros are amazing at the game.

 

・ Mahjong “Dajare” Jokesters

In Japan, jokes known as “Dajare” are popular to older generations, and these jokesters are people who say Mahjong themed “Dajares”. It’s fun to learn about them and they are useful tools for communicating, but you won’t become a better player. 

As you can see there are a lot of people who are Mahjong geeks who aren’t necessarily Mahjong players.

Translator

 Yuta 

A member of team USA for Kyudo World Cup 2018. Perfect bilingual Computer Science major college student.   

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