JPML stands for Japan Pro Mahjong League, one of the biggest pro leagues in Japan. Over 600 pro players belong to the JPML!
Many pro players from JPML attended 2017 WRC in Las Vegas. You might not remember their name, but you most likely played with them at least once in the World Riichi Championship.
What should you know about the pro league in Japan?
There are 6 major pro groups in Japan, JPML, JPMA (Japan pro mahjong association), Saikoui-Sen-JPMA, MU-μ- (Mahjong Union -μ-), 101 Competition League, RMU. All pro players have to be affiliated to one of these 6 organizations.
What kind of test do you have to pass to become a pro?
While it may seem so, "what would you discard" (WWYD) and the game score are not the most important. There are written quizes and interviews by the superiors. After that, you go thorough a 6 months process while you improve your mahjong skills and mentality as a pro player. After that, you finally debut as a pro player.
Good News! Amateur mahjong player have a chance to get the big title against pro players.
Each mahjong pro organization has its own title match for pro players affiliated with the organization. There are also 5 big title match open to all mahjong player even if you are not a pro. JPML has 2 title matches, Oui-Sen and Mahjong-Masters. JPMA also has 2 title matches, Japan-Open and Jan-Ou-Open. Saikoui-Sen-JPMA has Hatsu-Ou-Sen. If you are interested in joining the tournaments in Japan, you should try!