Mahjong is an ancient Chinese game with much debate over when, where, and how the game originated. One version is that Mahjong originated in the Court of Wu, which dates back to the time of the great philosopher, Confucius. There are many stories as to how the game of Mahjong was invented and we would like to share with you the Factor family favorite....
Long ago in the Chinese Palace of the Royal Court of Wu, lived a beautiful maiden who was not permitted to leave the castle. She was so bored that she invented a game to entertain herself by carving domino-shaped pieces out of ivory and bamboo. When she finished creating her game, she invited three of her maids to play with her. The actual rules are uncertain, but it said to have been the first game of Mahjong.
For centuries Mahjong was only permitted to be played by royalty and any non-royal person caught playing Mahjong, was sentenced to death. In 500 A.D. the law was dropped and it became a game for everyone.
Once it became available, the game spread to countries such as England and Australia. In 1920, Joseph P. Babcock, an American living in Shanghai, China introduced Mahjong to America. Babcock, translated the game from Chinese to English, and made a standard set of rules which governed the American version.
By 1923, Mahjong was the number one American import from China, surpassing tea and silk. The revenue of Mahjong sets was more than $1.5 million U.S. dollars and there were more orders than could be filled. However, sales dropped dramatically during the 1920's and importers were left with many unsold sets. Mahjong made a comeback in the 1930's during the Depression because families could not afford outside entertainment and games were free family fun.
We are once again faced with difficult economic times and searching for economical ways to entertain our family and connect with our children. Mahjong Junior is the answer.