Japanese Mahjiangg Tiles

A Japanese Mahjiangg set has 136 tiles, composed of four copies of a 34 tile set. The set of tiles is called Jan-pai [雀牌] ("Pai" means "tile" or "card"). Unlike Chinese Mahjiangg sets, Japanese Mahjiangg sets don't have flower tiles and extra blank tiles.

Scoring Counters

At the start of each Japanese Mahjiangg game, every player gets scoring counters totaling 30,000 points (sometimes 27,000 points), usually broken down in the following manner:

  • One 10000 point counter 10000 point counter
  • Two 5000 point counter 5000 point counters
  • Nine 1000 point counter 1000 point counters
  • Ten 100 point counter 100 point counters

Tile Classification

There are 136 tiles, composed of four copies of a 34 tile set. The set of tiles is called Jan-pai [雀牌]. ("Pai" means "tile" or "card"). If you have a Chinese set (or some Japanese sets), your set may come with flowertiles and extra blank tiles. These are not used in Japanese Mahjong.

Japanese Mahjiangg tiles can be subdivided into the following groups:

  • Dots Tiles (also known as balls, circles, coins, buckets, units, pin-zu [筒子]):

    Dots 1 Dots 2 Dots 3 Dots 4 Dots 5 Dots 6 Dots 7 Dots 8 Dots 9
    Example of Dots Tiles

  • Bamboo Tiles (also known as bams, sticks, hundreds, sou-zu [索子]):

    Bamboo 1Bamboo 2Bamboo 3Bamboo 4Bamboo 5Bamboo 6Bamboo 7Bamboo 8Bamboo 9
    Example of Bamboo Tiles

  • Characters Tiles (craks, wan, ten thousands, man-zu [萬子])

    Characters 1 Characters 2 Characters 3 Characters 4 Characters 5 Characters 6 Characters 7 Characters 8 Characters 9
    Example of Characters Tiles

  • Honor Tiles (characters, ju-hai [字牌])

    East Wind South Wind West Wind North Wind Haku - White Dragon Hatsu - Green Dragon Chun - Red Dragon
    Example of Honor Tiles

The Dots, Bamboo, and Characters Tiles are called collectively known as suits, and are numbered from 1 through 9. As a group, all of them are called NUMBERS ([数牌] officially shuu-pai, commonly zu-hai).

The Japanese names for number tiles are created by combining a Chinese number prefix with a suit suffix.

1
"Ii"
2
"Ryan"
3
"San"
4
"Suu"
5
"Uu"
6
"Ryuu"
7
"Chii"
8
"Paa"
9
"Chuu"
Dots
"pin"
Dots 1
Iipin
Dots 2
Ryanpin
Dots 3
Sanpin
Dots 4
Suupin
Dots 5
Uupin
Dots 6
Ryuupin
Dots 7
Chiipin
Dots 8
Paapin
Dots 9
Chuupin
Bamboo
"sou"
Bamboo 1
Iisou
Bamboo 2
Ryanzou
Bamboo 3
Sanzou
Bamboo 4
Sussou
Bamboo 5
Uusou
Bamboo 6
Ryuusou
Bamboo 7
Chiisou
Bamboo 8
Passou
Bamboo 9
Chuusou
Characters
"wan"
Characters 1
Iiwan
Characters 2
Ryanwan
Characters 3
Sanwan
Characters 4
Suuwan
Characters 5
Uuwan
Characters 6
Ryuuwan
Characters 7
Chiiwan
Characters 8
Paawan
Characters 9
Chuuwan

The Honor Tiles are subdivided into four WINDS ([風牌] officially fon-tsu, commonly kaze-hai) and three ELEMENTS (dragons, sangen-pai [三元牌]). Their individual names are:

  • TonTon [東]: East Wind
  • NanNan [南]: South Wind
  • ShaaShaa [西]: West Wind
  • PeiPei [北]: North Wind
  • HakuHaku [白] (paipan [白板]): White Board (White Dragon)
  • HatsuHatsu [発] (ryuufa [緑発]): Green Prosper (Green Dragon)
  • ChunChun [中] (honchun [紅中]): Red Middle (Red Dragon)

In most Japanese sets, the Haku will be completely blank, but in most Chinese sets, they will depict a black rectangle.

Other tile terms

  • The twos through eights of the suits are called MIDDLES (Chun-chan-pai [中張牌]).
  • The ones and nines of the suits are called TERMINALS
  • The terminals and chars as a group are called ENDS (Yao-chuu-hai [幺九牌]).