Mahjong Book Review:Oshihiki no Kyokasho(Makoto Fukuchi)

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The contents of this book is 119 problems and answers on 1. Judgement on Puch or Fold and 2. Judgement on Riichi (whether to Riichi or not). As written on the beginning of this book, only Riichi Mahjong has the rule that the player who discarded the final tile to complete the other players hand will have to pay all of the score. So, the player who has the 2nd best hand often have to pay all of the scores. This is the background Judgement on Puch or Fold is very important when you play Riichi Mahjong (Japanese Mahjong).

Basic theory tells us to 1. Riichi when you have Pinfu hand 2. not to push when you have the hand which need 2 more tiles to complete: ii-shang-teng. This book will shows you many exaples 1. in which situation, you can break these basic theory and 2. the boarder line btw Push or Fold. Especially after 2nd chapter you will see many good problems which even expert (above 7-dan at Tenho) can’t judge immediately.

I think this is the 1st book which presented the concept of proceeding round (prefer to complete cheaper hand to kick the other players’ dealer when you tentatively have the largest score), and control the other players (assisting or Sashikomi: discard the completing tile intentionally etc). Especially at the place where only position matters like Tenhou, whether to have these concept or not will largely affect your average position. Additionally, you will have more choice and that will be fun.

I had an impression the answers in this book may too under-evaluate the risk of Matagi (if the player who discard 3m early, 1m and 2m will be safer). But Jun Murakami, one of the famous professional player had the same opinion, so this may be a standard.

This book is published in 2017, but after that we don’t see books which specialized on this topics (push or fold). I assume this shows that the content of this book is overwhelming. This book is now out of print and the price was JPY 1,200 (around US$11), but was traded at Amazon marketplace over JPY 10,000 (around US$90). From viewpoint on 2020, we can’t find the content which is out of date. We can say this is “must-read” for middle class player like 4-6dan at Tenhou, and I strongly recommend this.