On Saturday, April 10th, 2002 the Mahjong Museum in the Chiba Prefecture of Japan held its opening ceremonies and for the first time the world has a museum dedicated to the preservation of the history and art of the fascinating game of Mahjong. The museum will also provide as a center for the ongoing historical research of the game though out the world.
Mr. Kyouitirou Noguchi, Chairman of Take Shobo Co., Ltd., of Tokyo, Japan has established the Mahjong museum in the resort village Misaki-Machi about 100 miles southeast of Tokyo. Mr. Noguchi and his associates have traveled the work searching for historical documents, tile sets, books, tables, and anything related to the game. They have amassed a collection of the world's finest Mahjong sets and accessories, including sets used in the Imperial Palace of China at the turn of the century, as well as sets used by celebrities and champions in Japan.
I was honored to be included in ceremonies at the opening by Mr. Noguchi, and was presented with a certificate of appreciation. The ceremonies included the presentation of certificates of appreciation to various individuals for their support of the museum and its research, and concluded with the traditional opening of a cask of sake, and a toast by all.
The museum was quite well received by everyone that attended. Displays and historical information presented at the museum included research into the regions that various different tile formats originated from, and the development of the present game from its predecessors Matiao, and Chinese playing cards that date back to around 1350 AD. The process of development from Matiao and its images into the present day tiles that we have today, as well as the various different formats used in the detailed carving of the tiles.
Areas of the museum are dedicated to development of Mahjong from Matiao, different regions of the world and their related tile sets including China, Japan and Southeast Asia, Europe and America. There are also areas dedicated the manufacture of tiles, related printed materials, and related games that either developed from Mahjong or were influenced by Mahjong.
MAHJONG MUSEUMKYOUITIROU NOGUCHI
2-7-3 IIDABASHI CHIYODA-KU
TEL 03-3264-1576 FAX 03-3261-0249
1-2 NAKAHARA MISAKI-MACHI ISUMI-GUN
TEL 0470-87-8886 FAX 0470-87-8806