Mahjong isn’t really a popular game in Korea. Actually it’s not popular at all. People recognize the game when they hear it, or when they see the tiles, but it is very hard to find a person who actually plays unless they are Chinese or Japanese. I went to Seoul for a month this past July, and during my stay I tried to find out more about the riichi scene in Korea.
I heard that there were three places where you can play in Seoul, but I could only visit one of these which was a parlor called Jabajan (じゃばじゃん). It is a parlor, but unlike Japan you cannot play for money. In Korea gambling is forbidden in places where Korean citizens are allowed, and most of the customers at Jabajan were Koreans so there was no gambling going on. (more…)