Mahjong or as it is sometimes spelled, Mah Jongg, originated from China about 500 BC. There is a myth that the game was developed by by the famous Confucius, an important Chinese philosopher. A fact that further supports this myth is the fact that Confucius liked birds which makes sense because the name of the game in English means "Sparrow". In 1985, the game was mentioned in some anthropological papers and by 1910 the game had made an appearance in the Western world including France. By the 1920s, the game had increased wildly in popularity and even made it to the United States. Today, Mahjong is extremely popular worldwide and is one of the most popular games in Japan and even very popular among among several non-chinese communities in the US.
The game usually takes place on a board or a table and utilizes at least 136 but more commonly 144 tiles depending on the version. The tiles themselves are pictures or Chinese characters representing honor, suits and flowers. The suits all go from 1 to 9. The honors represent north, west, south, east as well as the different color dragons. Finally, the bonus tiles represent the flowers and the four seasons.
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