Ma Cheuk as Played by the Chinese

by Edgar S. Winters

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The popular Chinese tile game has numerous aliases and is currently known in the United States most commonly as mahjong. It has been an enormously popular game that can be played with typically four players and requires 144 tiles. Some have likened the game to rummy. It made the leap to the United States around the 1920s. This book, along with numerous others published during the era, picked up on the craze and offered a guidebook for how to play the game. Some wealthier people attempted to mimic Chinese décor and set up game rooms to play mahjong with their friends. Eddie Cantor, a popular musician and Broadway star at the time, even recorded the song, “Since Ma Is Playing Mah Jong.” The game remains very popular particularly among American Jewish women, and the National Mah Jongg League was even founded in 1937 by Jewish women. Mah Jongg is currently sweeping Japan as a widely popular table game, along with a variety of anime and manga related to Mah Jongg. This work by Edgar S. Winters is one that help helped make mah jongg so popular across the years and continents.