My new (old) Japanese tile-set

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Barticle
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My new (old) Japanese tile-set

Post by Barticle » Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:19 am

Hi folks. I thought you might like to see some pics of this set which I recently picked up pretty cheaply off an eBay seller in Scotland. :)

(EDIT: I\'ve spread these over multiple posts for, erm, ease of reading!)

In the auction listing it was described as 60\'s era although there\'s no explicit indication of age. It\'s definitely Japanese though as the inserts include kana script and the yaku summary sheet includes riichi, plus a sticker inside the lid mentions Tokyo.

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Re:My new (old) Japanese tile-set

Post by Barticle » Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:24 am

It comes in a lightweight wooden \"briefcase\" with a dark green hide-effect coating. Inside there\'s the common layout of four shallow trays for tiles and one deeper one in the middle holding the scoring sticks and dice.

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Re:My new (old) Japanese tile-set

Post by Barticle » Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:25 am

There\'s a standard set of 136 tiles including blank Haku plus a further eight spare blank tiles. There are no flowers, seasons or red fives. And no stupid Arabic numerals. Yay! B)

The faces are 25.5mm x 18.5mm which makes them pretty much exactly the same size as my new Sango set. The old ones are a little thinner though - approximately 14mm thick (with some quirky variation between them).

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Re:My new (old) Japanese tile-set

Post by Barticle » Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:26 am

The slightly convex curved backs have the authentic dovetailing and the joints are quite irregular (comparing one to another) which gives a hand-made look. The seller described them as \"light wood\" but the odd porous structure at the ends doesn\'t look like timber so I suspect it\'s bamboo?

Unfortunately many of them have some dark staining at the ends; I didn\'t buy them to play with though so it\'s not a major issue for me. Is this a common problem with older sets? Some sort of adhesive leakage maybe?

Image

The scoring sticks are interesting - they come in five denominations and the two (I assume!) highest ones include green markings.

The yaku sheet has score look-up tables on the reverse and these show their age too. The minipoints are not rounded up to the nearest 10 and there are no limits in effect.

Image

If you have any insights or comments I\'d love to hear them.

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Re:My new (old) Japanese tile-set

Post by Torgo » Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:47 am

This set looks nearly identical to one of my sets. I purchased it off Craigslist. The tiles look identical in the carving and the colors, except my set uses a blue that is almost black.

My set also has four flowers and four blanks (that I stickered with flowers to play MCR style). It also has only four demoninations of counting sticks.

Plastic and bamboo seem to be the materials. I\'ve learned this was popular in the 60\'s and 70\'s.

I have to build a new box for mine as the joints and hinges have failed.

Nice set you\'ve got there!

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Re:My new (old) Japanese tile-set

Post by Barticle » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:22 pm

Torgo wrote:This set looks nearly identical to one of my sets.
Hi Chris, that\'s interesting to know. Do yours have the stained ends?
Nice set you\'ve got there!
Yeah, I\'m very happy with it. It\'s nice to have a proper older set.

Hopefully I\'ll stop buying them now as I\'ve "ticked all the boxes" - I got a cheap one, then a new Japanese one and now an old Japanese one. :)

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Re:My new (old) Japanese tile-set

Post by Torgo » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:40 pm

My set does not have any staining on the ends. I wonder how deep it goes, and whether a gentle sanding would remove it, or if it would require bleaching.

The bamboo part of my tiles seem to be a bit darker; kind of as if they are treated or stained with an amber finish.

My tiles to have some rather surprising grinding marks on the ends and sides. The marks are rather obvious and distressing when you\'re examining the tiles closely, but they really aren\'t apparent during a game.

You might look to some of the woodworking fora for advice on clearing or covering those stains.

BTW, I really like playing with these tiles. They have a very nice size and heft.

This is my small-ish set. I also have a big (31mm) plastic set, and a set I made (just has stickers). I would really like to add a bone and bamboo set of this size (25mm). (Oh, and the solid onyx sets look very nice too!)

I\'ve played several games with 20mm tiles, and it was not as bad as I feared.

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Re:My new (old) Japanese tile-set

Post by Gamegrunt » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:13 pm

Interesting variation on the theme of bone and bamboo, and I like the rounded ends of the scoring sticks with the additional denomination.

Thanks for sharing!

Gg

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Re:My new (old) Japanese tile-set

Post by hirohurl » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:32 pm

Hi Bart,

Yep, that\'s bamboo. The porous ends is the key.

What do you think the main part of the tile is made of? Bone? Plastic?

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Re:My new (old) Japanese tile-set

Post by Barticle » Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:42 pm

Torgo wrote:My set does not have any staining on the ends. I wonder how deep it goes, and whether a gentle sanding would remove it, or if it would require bleaching.
I\'m working on the assumption that it came from within, travelling along the "grain" of the bamboo, hence its presence at the tops and bottoms only. :unsure: Perhaps it\'s a consequence of storage conditions.
My tiles to have some rather surprising grinding marks on the ends and sides.
Yes, I have something like this on the sides too. I think it extends over both materials so I guess they were ground down after assembly.
This is my small-ish set. I also have a big (31mm) plastic set, and a set I made (just has stickers). I would really like to add a bone and bamboo set of this size (25mm). (Oh, and the solid onyx sets look very nice too!)
They are quite "more-ish"! :laugh:
Gamegrunt wrote:Thanks for sharing!
No problem. Apologies for woeful lack of decimal places on quoted dimensions! :silly:

Although the artificial lighting doesn\'t give the most accurate representation, it\'s interesting to see how close the colour in my photo is to the backs of your Take set (hence the name of course).

BTW As a spotter of games from around the world, you might like to know that my green backdrop is an old Subbuteo soccer pitch which I use as a dustsheet on my DJ equipment!
hirohurl wrote:Yep, that\'s bamboo. The porous ends is the key.
Thanks for confirming, I assumed it must be.
What do you think the main part of the tile is made of? Bone? Plastic?
I was wondering... the face of each tile does appear to have some sort of "border" just inside the edges, within the material itself. I think it\'s either evidence of plastic injection moulding or an artefact of the process that adds the markings.

I need to review Tom\'s materials FAQ. Evidently I need to look for a Haversian System! :pinch:

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Re:My new (old) Japanese tile-set

Post by Torgo » Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:49 pm

Barticle wrote:They are quite "more-ish"! :laugh:
Oh yes, the onyx tiles are not cheap! But there are some bargains in the bone and bamboo tiles: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0455844554

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Re:My new (old) Japanese tile-set

Post by Barticle » Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:47 pm

Hmm, I did wonder how many international readers would recognise that term. \"More-ish\" describes something like biscuits (or \"cookies\" if you prefer!) where you have one but then you just want to have another, and then another...

Free shipping in the US on that listing is good but it\'s expensive to export. I\'m not a fan of the colours and designs on those suit tiles either. :S

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Re:My new (old) Japanese tile-set

Post by Ruro » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:16 am

Thats a nice and pretty unusual set there :D The backs are bamboo thats a fact i got a bamboo set and i looks exactly like that. Also the \"faces\" can be bone , because it was the popular setting as i know (bamboo+bone).
Also the bamboo suit tiles look a little like in chinese versions rather then riichi tiles.
And you got 8 spare tiles? Thats a damn lot, i wonder why they put that much in it... (Maybe they played a silly variant with 12 white dragons :D Damn that would mean a whole new yakuman :D )

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Re:My new (old) Japanese tile-set

Post by Barticle » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:23 am

Ruro wrote:Also the "faces" can be bone , because it was the popular setting as i know (bamboo+bone).
I know that\'s a common combination but I\'m yet to be convinced. Even the blank tiles have that pattern I mentioned previously which looks like evidence of plastic moulding.
Also the bamboo suit tiles look a little like in chinese versions rather then riichi tiles.
Yeah, they\'re more like classical "strings of coins" rather than bamboo stalks.
And you got 8 spare tiles? Thats a damn lot, i wonder why they put that much in it...
I can only assume that people used to lose stuff more often in the olden days! :laugh:

I\'ve seen references to spare blank tiles in several older MJ books. One suggests that you can get someone to engrave a blank when you need to replace a lost tile... I guess there were more craftsmen around in the past too.
(Maybe they played a silly variant with 12 white dragons :D Damn that would mean a whole new yakuman :D )
You could make All Honours with dragons only!

Do you read the Koizumi manga? He uses his super hand strength to rub tiles until they\'re blank. In one match he made a hand with four kongs (so 18 tiles in total) - all white drags. All quadruple dora too!! :lol:

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Re:My new (old) Japanese tile-set

Post by hirohurl » Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:28 pm

Ruro wrote:And you got 8 spare tiles? Thats a damn lot, i wonder why they put that much in it... (Maybe they played a silly variant with 12 white dragons :D Damn that would mean a whole new yakuman :D )
I like the idea of 12 White Dragons. I guess you could escalate the score even further depending on the head...

As for "why" - I think it is simply because there are no Seasons or Red 5s and the extra eight tiles just make up the numbers so you get four trays of 9 x 4 tiles.

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