Mah-jong Mah-jong Mah-jong Mah-jong
¡§Mahjong¡¨ is a kind of the most common and popular family entertainments in military dependents' villages. Since the age of humble cottages to apartment-styled buildings, playing Mahjong has become parts of culture of military dependents' villages.



This game originated in the Ming dynasty, called ¡§Leaf Game.¡¨

A card game prevailing in the late Ming dynasty turned into the form of a domino game gradually.

It is also named ¡§Sparrow¡¨ in Canton areas, Hong Kong , Taiwan , and Japan .


According to the interviewed grandfathers and uncles' saying, in 1950' s and 1960' s, everything was short and life in military dependents' villages was difficult. Even the most common transistor radio set belonged to a luxury item, not to mention any leisure entertainment. Therefore, playing Mahjong became an emotional outlet. What did Mahjong play in culture of military dependents' villages? ¡§In some families, from the oldest members to the youngest ones all can play Mahjong,¡¨ said a grandfather.

As Mahjong became one of the emotional outlets, some people got so indulged in it that they could not control themselves. ¡§A wife in the neighborhood usually lost all the money just after her husband brought the salary home. Although the husband persuaded his wife out of Mahjong, and even beat her, the wife still kept unchanged. Finally the couple could not but get divorced¡¨ At that time, the military even dispatched military police to the villages to crack down on playing Mahjong for the purpose of stopping the prevalence of gambling. Those caught gambling were usually punished severely. However, the fashion of Mahjong never disappeared in military dependents' villages.

Three Dragon tiles in Mahjong, red Zhong, green Fa, and white Bai have an interesting allusion. Three Dragon tiles represent people's yearning for being promoted in office and becoming rich. Zhong means succeeding in the imperial examinations (examinees who ranks no .1 in the provincial exam was named ¡§Xieyuan¡¨ , no .1 in the capital's examination named ¡§Huiyuan,¡¨ and no. 1 in the emperor's court examination named ¡§Zhuangyuan.¡¨ Those who gets the above 3 No.1s was named ¡§Zhong San Yuan.¡¨ ) Fa means becoming rich. Succeeding in the imperial examinations, taking office, and then becoming rich. White Bai means being clean in performing official duties. Though this anecdote, seeming to render Mahjong a sublime meaning, is unreliable, it doesn't matter.

Twenty to thirty years ago, playing Mahjong was equal to gambling. Thus, even playing Mahjong at home was also banned. Nowadays, Mahjong becomes one of the entertainments enjoyed by many people. With the multiple developments of computer software, ¡§Mahjong software¡¨ is not rare long ago. Mahjong even becomes a kind of online games. Some medical reports also claimed that Mahjong could be a method for brain training to ease down or avoid the happening of Alzheimer's Disease. Indeed, a prerequisite lies on that people should not play Mahjong too long, otherwise it would be harmful for human bodies.

People should not too indulge in any entertainment to disregard the consequences. Of course, Mahjong is unexceptional either.