Takeo Kojima at the "World Riichi Championship 2014" in Puteaux (photo credit: David Clarke)

TOKYO, Japan - Yesterday evening the Japanese Professional Mahjong League (JPML) reported on Twitter mahjong legend Takeo Kojima (小島武夫) passed away on May 28th at the age of 82.

Known as “Mister Mahjong”, Kojima-sensei lived up to his epithet. Legends abound about his life in mahjong parlours, but most in the West will know him as a member of the Japan Professional Mahjong League (JPML) where he was the first-ever president. Under his presidency, JPML grew from strength to strength and forever changed the mahjong professional scene in Japan, revitalising it for years to come.

He made frequent appearances on mahjong TV shows and was a key featured player in Konami’s Mahjong Fight Club. Kojima-sensei won countless titles from claiming victory at Saikyosen to taking the title at 2nd Battle of Generation, just to name a few. Within JPML he held 9th dan – one of the highest dan level possible that can be attained. He was a significant supporter of the World Riichi Championship and attended the very first edition in Paris 2014.

Kojima-sensei was known for his bright, enthusiastic and playful personality, inspiring many players and made a huge contribution to the world of mahjong. Either directly or indirectly, he has made an impact on the experiences of every competitive mahjong player. His presence will not be easily replaced and he will be missed for many years to come.


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