Riichi Mahjong Central Launches Online Study Group

Riichi Mahjong Central (RMC) has been teasing a new project for a while. Back in January, RMC posted on their Facebook page that, among their various projects in progress, they had received approval to host a video series covering “one of the popular strategy books in Japan” for an online study group.

Great news! We got approved to do a video series about one of the popular strategy books in Japan for our study…

Posted by Riichi Mahjong Central on Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Naturally, I’m interested in anything that brings riichi to the masses so I emailed RMC for more info. I also thought readers might like some insight into how it goes. After a series of emails and calls, Riichi Reporter has reached an agreement with RMC which will allow us to participate in the study sessions and publicly offer my experience and feedback.

RMC has announced the date of the first session as March 25th and future dates to be determined. With participants from different continents, they also plan to shift the time of the live sessions to allow people from various time zones to join in at a more convenient time. There are approximately 15 students signed up, though some might not be able to make the scheduled 6 p.m. PDT time. They have promised, however, that recordings of the sessions will be made available to participants and are open to questions. It’s encouraging that RMC is making itself available, but I can only hope for their sake this doesn’t result in a deluge of emails. Perhaps an FAQ to amend the session might be a better format for posterity?

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

So what has motivated this study session? In a website post RMC states that they have received permission to translate several strategy books, but that kind of work takes time. In order to offer content faster RMC is offering this study group written around the content of one such book with the permission (and feedback) of the author! We’ll be looking at the content of Kagaku Suru Maajan (科学する麻雀) written by Totsugeki Touhoku (とつげき東北).

The format (as it’s been explained so far) is that students will receive a link for a YouTube live stream, and they will be able to ask questions via live chat which will hopefully be addressed in the stream. This is a first run on a new program, so expect changes to happen from session to session as kinks get worked out. Later the footage will be edited down to a cleaner cut and published publicly through RMC’s channels. There’s not much else known about how this will work in a practical sense, but I’m excited at the prospect of a group strategy class! I go into this with the understanding that this is a first run, and participant feedback is going to be super important to refining the process.