Wednesday 12th April: The Winter King & Wallenstein.

After a 90-minute “History in English” class during which Dr Mogami jr and I sat at the mahjong table in his father’s guest room and read through the chapter on the Thirty Year’s War in Steven Ozment’s book of German history, A Mighty Fortress, we tossed the study materials to one side and set up the mahjong table for a six-hour session of mahjong with his parents.

Today we had read about how the Battle of the White mountain, the opening battle of the war, had been a swift and decisive defeat for the Calvinist forces of Frederick I and then how, a while later, old Wallenstein was victorious wheresoever he roamed at large.

The first game of the session saw Dr M jr in the role of the Winter King as he crashed to an unusual early defeat of -64. I finished down a bit in that game and Dr M sr came out on top.

The second game went to Mrs M so the seniors shared out the “maru” bonuses between them while I picked up two “batsu” penalties and Dr M jr was stuck with four.

Then, in the third game I found myself playing Wallenstein – which is a first for me in four-player mahjong so far this year. (Could it be another Q2 turnaround of fortunes?) As a result, I was the only winner for the evening, with Mrs M the top loser, Dr M sr in third, and Dr M jr at the bottom of the pack and almost Y5,000 coming my way… and the trams still running!!

David Hurley