Producer 1990 Institute 
Overview Mahjong holds different meanings to different people. Originating in China in the mid-to late-1800s, the iconic tile game of mahjong has retained its popularity, captivating the interest of over 600 million people around the world. Since the 1920s, the game has gained traction in the US., serving to help Chinese immigrants assimilate into life in the U.S. and spreading out to fellow Americans of various ethnicities. Mahjong transcends boundaries of geography, ethnicity, gender, culture, and generation, acting as a unifying force among diverse groups. Regardless of why you play this game, it is a fun way to learn other cultures and Asian American history.
Publish Date July 2023
For Teachers Downloadable Mahjong Lesson Guide Word Document.

View Mahjong Lesson Guide PDF here.

Reference Materials Read:

P. Babcock, A. R. Hager, A. N. Lethin and the Mah-Jongg/Mah-Jong Company of China et al., by Michael Stanwick, The Mahjong Tile Set

Mah Jongg in the United States, by Daron Barness, Stroll 

Trending Now: A Brief History of Mahjong, August 17, 2022, Optima

The Origin and Development of the Mahjong Tile Set. Part 1., by Michael Stanwick, The Mahjong Tile Set 

What the Surprising History of Mah-jongg Can Teach Us About America, by Cady Lang, May 4, 2021, TIME

The symbolism of Crazy Rich Asians’ pivotal mahjong scene, explained, by Jeff Yang, August 31, 2018, Vox

The history and culture of Mahjong,, by Rachel Koon, May 2, 2021, The Science Survey

Game changer: How mahjong helped Jewish and Asian Americans overcome racism, by Menachem Wecker, July 13, 2021, Religion News Service

Mahjongg becomes popular pastime for Americans, August 27, 2017,  China Daily

Mahjong, Old World game from China draws New World interest, by Liling Tan, October 28, 2019, CGTN America

On the advent and spread of the game Mah-Jong, January 2019, The Yale Review of International Studies

Is Mah-Jongg a Jewish Game?, by Meredith Lewis, My Jewish Learning


Picking Up The Pieces Of Mahjong, by Angelo Bautista, May 24, 2022, To the Best of Our Knowledge

A ‘Ton’ Of Fun: How Mahjong Became A U.S. Phenomenon, by Avery Jessa Chapnick, May 12, 2021, 1A

Texas-Based Mahjong Company Faces Backlash For Cultural Appropriation, January 17, 2021, NPR


Humans of Hong Kong: Going where the winds blow with Biu Kee Mahjong’s Uncle King, May 28, 2020, Localiiz Hong Kong

Mahjong: A Chinese Game and the Making of Modern American Culture, May 13, 2021, Museum at Eldridge Street

Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game, November 25, 2014, Digital Laundry

How Mah-Jongg Became a Jewish Game, February 6, 2017, My Jewish Learning

Mahjong part of SF elementary students Year of the Rabbit in Chinese New Year Parade, February 1, 2023, Modern Mahjong  

FunMahjongFindFriday: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel presented by Mahjong Community &, August 31, 2019, Modern Mahjong

How to play the game, The Mahjong Project

Recommendations List of books film music related to the subject (longer form materials)

Mah Jongg: Crak, Bam, Dot, 2010, 2wice Arts Foundation

Mahjong: A Chinese Game and the Making of Modern American Culture, Annelise Heinz, April 22, 2021

Standardized Mah Jong, by Lee Foster Hartman, 1924

Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game, by Ann Israel and Gregg Swain, 2014

References for film clips in the video Fresh Off the Boat. Created by Nahnatchka Khan, 20th Century Fox Television for ABC, 2015-2020. YouTube, uploaded by ABC, 15 February, 2019,. 

The Joy Luck Club. Directed by Wayne Wang, Hollywood Pictures, 1993. YouTube, uploaded by 2663KinkyCyborg, 3 April 2015, 

Modern Family. Created by Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd, Steven Levitan Productions, Picador Productions, and 20th Century Fox Television, 2009-2020. YouTube, uploaded by moments, 17 October 2022, 

Lust, Caution. Created by Ang Lee, Haishang Films, Focus Features, River Road Entertainment, Sil-Metropole Organisation, and Shanghai Film Group, 2007. 

“Julia Roberts Calms Down by Playing Mahjong.” Created by CBS, Youtube, uploaded by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, 5 December 2018, 

Courtesy: Vivien Tam, Spring/Summer Collection 2022

Crazy Rich Asians. Directed by Jon M. Chu, Warner Bros., SK Global, Starlight Culture Entertainment, Color Force, and Ivanhoe Pictures, 2018. YouTube, uploaded by luxon4, 5 December 2018, 

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, Amazon Studios, Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions, and Picrow, 2017-2023. YouTube, uploaded by Modern Mahjong, 31 August 2019, 

Seinfeld. Created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, West-Shapiro and Castle Rock Entertainment, 1989–1998. YouTube, uploaded by Seinfeld, 29 June 2022, 

“Cocoon (1985) – (Movie Clip) I’m in the Mood for Love.” Turner Classic Movies

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