The Disqualification of Horiuchi

The big news in the mahjong community this week is the disqualification of Horiuchi from the judansen.

In East 4, Horiuchi was tenpai with

1p2p3p7p8p9p2s3s2z2z Chi: 3m1m2m,

he draws a 3s and sighs then he slams the 3s from his hand (karagiri). Setokuma then reaches tenpai and discards a 1s, Horiuchi went on to win the game but was disqualified after the game for “shamisen” (“Bluff” maybe?)

video of the proceeding

Horiuchi admitted on twitter that he did sigh and slam the tile (“The problem in question was, my breath got a little strong during a showdown and I accidentally used too much force with my hand”) .

The whole affair is probably just an excuse to remove him (or if they’re seriously thinking that warrants a disqualification then it’s too harsh), It’s well-known that Horiuchi is hated among the bosses at JPML for his digital style of play. Kojima Takeo, Moriyama and other people in the “JPML Inner circle” have made snide remarks about digital and Horiuchi’s style of play. It’s worth mentioning that the JPML has a history of match fixing, there was a scandal 2 years ago at the 28th juudansen and JPML was formed due to members of the inner circle being kicked out of a league for match fixing.

After this the mahjong community found interesting footage of a certain JPML boss (Moriyama) doing various things that should be considered shamisen; Slamming tiles, pretending to tsumo then discarding, slamming tiles so hard that the table shakes, and other bad manners stuff.
3:00 Drops tile 6:00 Fake tsumos 7:00 Tile slam
Slamming tiles
Goes to discard tile then places it back into his hand.

Right now, people in the mahjong community are discussing what counts as shamisen, if it should be allowed or how it should be punished.

19 thoughts on “The Disqualification of Horiuchi

  1. It’s good to remember that Moriyama is one of the bosses at renmei known to have said “If everyone played a good mahjong I might have been able to win.”

    1. Let’s not forget this awesome quote from Kojima before the juudansen

      Q: About Digital…
      A: It’s pretty bad. It gets you nowhere. Even if you win, it’s bad. If you play mahjong like that for a long time, your mahjong itself is bad.

  2. That’s just sick lol, but maybe from the bosses viewpoint, occult play is way more fun for the audience to watch (and more money for the organization), digital mahjong seems to be more stable and effective but boring (what can the commentators even talk about now!?)

    And btw I don’t know Japanese and so none of the JPML history, so can you tell me the whole “there was a scandal 2 years ago at the 28th juudansen and JPML was formed due to members of the inner circle being kicked out of a league for match fixing” thing?

    1. The very story of renmei starts with match-fixing, a few decades ago, before renmei or kyoukai even existed.

      Ara and Nada pro held a student-master relationship. They got into the final table for Saikouisen tournament, and master Nada was slightly close to first place while Ara was third or fourth, with few chances to get to first but still a hope in sight. Ara gets to tenpai with a good hand, waiting on the dora for a haneman, master Nada discards it but Ara passes; shortly after Nada wins his hand and the hanchan. The judges ruled that given their relationship and since given the situation there was no way Ara should have passed on that win (and no way he wouldnt realize it either, as it was the dora), they charged them with cheating and disqualified them.

      They were banned from participating in the event anymore and the current mahjong magazine would stop writing about them. Though maybe now they would claim they “left” feeling offended. They went on with a few friends to form their new professional mahjong organization, and thus renmei was born. They also started their own mahjong magazine Kindai Maajan (not the same one as is being published today, just the same title). Great success, though the magazine eventually died out.

      There are people who even claim match rigging continued in this new organization, as they would seed themselves in tournaments to remain in the finals, play in a way so that only they themselves can keep remain at the top, and so on. Their no-ippatsu, no-red dora and no-ura dora (all the unexpected bonuses) famous A rules might just be the best ruleset to rig hands, as when you go to deal into a partner to cancel the current hand and end the game faster, you don’t need to worry about revealing 3 ura, or about waiting another turn to avoid ippatsu, and hands in general can be built to be very cheap, with little chances of a comeback.

      Kojima Takeo also has an hour and a half long video of tutorials on how to do mahjong sleight of hand. It is up to the viewer to decide whether he ever used these techniques or not.

      Also, if you ever heard Kojima, Moriyama or Satoshi commentate a game where Horiuchi plays, their comments are just aggressive and not focused on mahjong at all. This is very awkward for any viewer. They also regularly use “amateur” as an insult.

      Let’s not forget about Takehana Yuu’s bad experiences with renmei and their match fixing, which eventually led to him quitting. Renmei eventually had his blog be deleted.

      All in all, renmei’s reputation isn’t very good currently (within the mahjong world), and they are the only ones responsible for it.

      1. Don’t get me wrong, though, there are many respectable pros who are or have been in renmei before, but it’s just rotten at the very top, were the higher ups stand.

        Konnou, Ooi Takaharu and Abe Takeshi (now RMU) used to be in renmei. Tsuchida Koushou used to belong to renmei as well. Takehana Yuu was in renmei until he eventually left. And there are many respectable people still in renmei in every level and league. The smeared image of the organization should in no way affect the reputation of everyone in it. If anything, they are the only ones who can do anything to save the organization, and I hope they do so.

  3. shamisen is a kind of instrument in japan and I believed that is equivalent with the term “cheating” In Japanese mahjong. if I am not mistaken, I also feel that Horiuchi would not only disqualify from the juudaisen but also as a pro and as a renmei member.

    I believe that the 28th juudansen’s affair is related with Fukuchi Makoto, which he claims Juudansen to be another event of “八百長”, which is match fixing. since I am not the guy that is familiar with japanese, I will leave the link below and let anyone interested to read.

    BTW, as Renmei then threathen to file a lawsuit against Fukuchi Makoto for defamation, the even ended as Fukuchi Makoto apologize. I guess there is something up inside Renmei then.

  4. Its a strange two sided coin from an organization that wants exciting public games but prohibits theatrical displays.

    Also duplicitous is banning the bluff without simultaneously banning the passing of legitimate information. Isn’t that the issue? That he “passed information” with his sigh and rough discard… but information that turned out to be just a bluff? The ruling itself implies it was an acceptable reveal of information until it was discovered to be a ruse.

    Removing the mind game from play steers it away from the ‘favored’ occult and back toward the dreaded digital play… another dicotomy.

    There are other factors at play in the JPML ruling which are not readily apparent.

  5. That’s a nice bunch of arguments against JPML. Now, how do you guys think the upcoming World Championship, mostly consisting of JPML and your other favorite EMA, is going to work out?

  6. Well, if they’re that strict about things like “sighing” at the upcoming World Championship, then they will probably need to disqualify 90% of European players.

  7. So based on seeing the video – unable to understand Japanese – and looking at the comments:

    This is simply mahjong politics happening again.

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