The Fiery Flying Dragon’s Ode To The West Wind

Hiryu no Kane
There was an excellent programme about the temple bells of Japan on the BBC radio Heart and Soul series the other day. Part of the programme was about the biggest bronze temple bell in the world, Rengein Tanjyoji Temple’s Flying Dragon bell (Hiryu no Kane) on the south coast of Kyushu, the boom of which dominates the airwaves and can be heard up to 30 miles away on a fine day.

The greatness of that bell reminded me of another Great Booming Dominator, Noda the Flying Dragon Mahjong Tensai of Kodama Jansou in Hiroshima..

The great flying dragon has scored a total of over 200 points in the last two sessions.

Three weeks ago Hide and David got somewhat singed in the fiery heat of the dragon’s breath…

26th Feb 2010

Noda +33, -27, -3, +30, -2, -32 = +53

Hide -46, +11, -20, -16, +17, +40 = -14

David +13, -38,* +23, -14, -15, -8 = -39

* Yakitori

Last Friday Noda and David were joined by Nobu and his duck.

Anyone For Dorian?

Noda had been entertaining some Malayan clients and had been presented with a processed dorian sausage which he had had Mama-san serve in a couple of dishes for Nobu and I to sample. Noda seemed to be hoping that one of us would be so enamoured of it that we would want to unburden him of the rest of the sausage but was disappointed.

Double Chombo
It was an interesting opening game. David was making all the running, but twice Nobu claimed “Ron” off David’s discard and on both occasions was penalized for Chombo! In each case his hand was indeed Tempai but on an illegal wait. The second Chombo was due to his not spotting all his finishing options on a 3 tile wait, and the option he had not spotted was for a tile he had already discarded.

Harsh, but perfectly fair!

In the same game, David declared Riichi again and Nobu asked the beginner’s question about Chiitoi – i.e. “can you have a double pair” – to which the answer is now, has always been and ever shall be “NO!”

That left Nobu in a bit of a pickle. David, having gone Riichi, had a peep at his hand and pulled a face. Nobu then threw one of the four identical tiles in his hand, a 3-Coins, and David declared “RON!”

After two games David was soaring on waxen wings and thought he might overreach the great flying dragon himself… He had survived giving up 16,000 points to Noda by promptly reclaiming them from him in the next hand…

Ode to the West Wind
The third game commenced with Noda moving from the North to the West seat. North had indeed been a bit chilly for Old Noda and the Great Bronze Bell was silent, but, as one of our lyrical poets put it in a poem so aptly titled that he must have been thinking about mahjong at the moment of inspiration,


When winter comes, can spring be far behind?

Noda’s ode to the West Wind was full of fire and smoke, such that the Poor Little Cypriot’s waxen wings did melt as Noda conspired his overthrow and served it up with a cindered Yakitori, the second in two weeks. Thank you very much.

In the final game of the evening was more evenly balanced until one hand towards the end of the session when Noda was conspicuously throwing out middle tiles. David risked a few early terminal discards and wondered as terminals gradually emerged from Noda’s hand whether he had given up. Meanwhile, Nobu played on oblivious to everything except his own hand to which a South tile plucked from the wall made no contribution and out it went.

The Great Flying Dragon bell boomed out a resonant “RON!” and Noda and turned over his tiles to reveal Kokushimusou and claim 36,000 points off a shaken Nobu.

12th March 2010

Noda -6, -9, +86, +42 = +113
David +42, +19, -59,* +12 = +14
Nobu -36,** -10, -27, -54 = -127

* Yakitori
** Double Chombo

3PMJ League Table

Noda +321
David +116
Aimi +63
Ray -1
Neil -9
Jaime -65
Hide -68
Hatsue -82
Nobu -275

So is it all over bar the shouting already for the 3PMJ league in 2010, with both top and bottom places already decided and only the black and the red to play for for everybody else?

David Hurley


  1. "When winter comes, can spring be far behind?"

    To answer this, I shall pose another – Have you ever been to Northumberland in Spring…?

    Or to probably update/misquote Keats, (it probably wasn't him but some other shirt wearing buttons open drunkard) "The English winter ends on June 30th…and begins again on the 1st July"

    So Neil has guarenteed 3rd place then…?

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