Regular visitors to the "mahjong shop" section of my website will be aware that I offer a range of eleven Japanese mahjong sets, from a standard set all the way up to an exclusive set complete with hand-made bamboo backs.
I have now upgraded the most basic set that I offer while keeping the price below $50. The standard set is now called the Japanese "Sango" Mahjong Set. It is housed in a smart "snap shut" case that is better finished than the case the previous "Standard MJ" set was housed in. The tiles are made to Japanese specifications and are "High Grade Mahjong Tiles".
You can get a close look at the Winds, Dragons, Seasons and Red Fives to check out the quality of the finish over at my Japanese Mahjong Goods site.
Every mahjong set I offer on my site has been made to Japanese specifications. Japanese specs cover size and also quality of production, including the quality of the plastic and paint that are used to produce the tiles.
The quality of the plastic that the tiles are made of is an important point to bear in mind when choosing a mahjong set. Cheap and nasty sets have a really noxious plastic odour to them. None of the sets I offer on my site are made of that ghastly cheap (almost certainly imported from you-know-where) plastic.
However, the other week I accidentally bought one such set. It has been filling my storage space with its noxious fumes. The only benefit I can put it to before throwing it away is to photograph the tiles so you can compare a cheap and nasty set to the sets I offer on my site.
Here are the cheap and nasty Winds, Dragons, Seasons and Red Fives. You will notice the poor finish, ill defined characters, and rather nasty plastic sheen.
Just imagine the whiffy pong of cheap plastic to complete the picture!
It gets worse when you check out the Bamboo and the Coin suits... That ghastly brute of a peacock looks more like a turkey!
The Coins are very blotchy - the nasty glossy paint has been carelessly applied so it runs over and obliterates the sketchy patterning.
The paint looks as if it is about to peel. I hate to think how much lead is in it...
Now, compare the Winds and Dragons of the most economical set that I offer, the "Sango" set that I discussed at the beginning of this article. The difference in quality is immense.
Straightaway the cleaner finish of the tiles is apparent. The paint has been carefully applied and the engraving is more detailed.
The tiles shown here are basic tiles made to Japanese standards. They are the most economical tiles that I offer on my site, yet they are far superior in quality on every count: quality of plastic, quality of paint, quality of engraving, quality of finish.
And now, just to complete the comparison, let's bring in my favourite Japanese mahjong set, the exclusive Nintendo "New Ivory" set for inspection:
The tiles have an ivory-style "grain" running through them and the engraving seems to shimmer above the surface.
So, you can see that when it comes to choosing a Japanese mahjong set, there is a huge difference between the ugly, the good and the beautiful!
Labels: Japanese mahjong set