Mahjong Crash Course Returns For 2019!

If you feel like you missed a great opportunity to learn directly from JPML professionals by not attending the 2018 Mahjong Crash Course, then 1) you did, and 2) redemption is at hand! In case you missed Dasuke’s valiant attempt to paste the announcement on every channel and social media page, the next program has arrived!

The indefatigable Gemma and the Japanese Professional Mahjong League (JPML) have arranged a second Mahjong Crash Course the end of this August to offer a “master course in riichi mahjong strategy”!

Dates are August 26-30, 2019, and it will be taking place once again at the Sugamo Dojo and JPML studio in Tokyo. Listed cost of the course is 135,000 JPY which covers all scheduled activities. Travel, lodging, and food not included. The Mahjong Crash Course website has all published details and applications.

The schedule hasn’t been released yet, but I wouldn’t expect a great deal of changes beyond the lecture subjects. I have been able to get some additional info out of the organizers though.

The class size has been increased from eight to twelve students. Last year’s inaugural class was kept purposefully small, but organizers feel that few more seats could be added without impacting the one-on-one nature of the course.

The JPML really enjoyed last year’s Crash Course, and continues to be offer support to the Western riichi community. The hope with Mahjong Crash Course is that it may boost a non-Japanese player to the final table of WRC (and perhaps to the title itself!) There are also softer benefits, such as developing international communication and fostering relationships. (Mr. Tomotake and Mr. Yamai are planning to attend this year’s ERMC to continue to build relationships there as well.)

Mahjong Crash Course is designed to be a challenge, and it utilizes teaching methodology that may be radically different from how Western players are used to approaching riichi. While Jenn Barr, Garthe Nelson, and Gemma Sakamoto will again be on hand to help ease that transition and provide translation services, Gemma says, “Embrace the change. I’m confident that your mahjong will benefit from hearing new perspectives on the game that may not be readily accessible from book reading and YouTube watching. You’ll be able to ask pros questions directly related to your play and get an insight into their philosophies (not all pros think the same either!)”

You can check out our reports of last year’s Mahjong Crash Course in part 1 and part 2 of our published articles.