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Thread: Didn't know that mahjong was such a "recent" invention.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Default Didn't know that mahjong was such a "recent" invention.

    Tonight, I was going to post a new thread in the Wuxia Forum about why characters in wuxia novels are never seen playing mahjong despite the fact that it's a very popular Chinese gambling and recreational game.

    I did a little research, and it turns out that mahjong is a much more recent invention than I thought it was. Mahjong's history dates back only to around 1850 (long, long after any Jin Yong or Gu Long wuxia novel was set), which is pretty "recent" in the context of Chinese history. Despite its widespread popularity today, mahjong was invented a mere 160 or so years ago.

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    Senior Member Lucre's Avatar
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    not too surprised, cos if you see period dramas, they gamble with dice more often.

    and if you talk about other games, it's probably weiqi.
    o wilku mowa...♪

    The only thing I need to know is that I don't know anything.

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    Senior Member jadebunny9's Avatar
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    I remember in TVB series A Colourful Life, the women were seen playing mahjong. This series was supposed to be set in the T'ang dynasty. Same with Virtues of Harmony (set sometime before 1850 for sure). Is this historically inaccurate?

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadebunny9 View Post
    I remember in TVB series A Colourful Life, the women were seen playing mahjong. This series was supposed to be set in the T'ang dynasty. Same with Virtues of Harmony (set sometime before 1850 for sure). Is this historically inaccurate?
    It would be if the results of my research are correct. Mahjong as we know it did not emerge until the 19th Century, although some earlier games that only marginally resembled (no tiles) the well-known modern incarnation of the game date back farther (not as far back as the Tang Dynasty, however).

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    Senior Member Lucre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadebunny9 View Post
    I remember in TVB series A Colourful Life, the women were seen playing mahjong. This series was supposed to be set in the T'ang dynasty. Same with Virtues of Harmony (set sometime before 1850 for sure). Is this historically inaccurate?
    not every production is historically accurate though. =)

    it all depends on how much they are willing to spend on researching into the era. whilst i didn't know about mahjong history, but i'd never really thought of it as 'ancient game' ~
    o wilku mowa...♪

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    im pretty sure in the series "cant buy me love", they played mahjong too
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    Senior Member Ian Liew's Avatar
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    Stephen Chow's Flirtong Scholar had a mahjong scene, but then that's hardly a historically accurate film in any way.

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